Chef Lawrence Murphy says: Forget the scallops – tea and prunes are just the job

Prune and almond torte
Prune and almond torte
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Julia and I took a few days away with the terriers and trundled east along the coast until we got to Rye.

I’d heard Rye Bay scallops were the thing to eat in the area and had ear­marked a fantastic-looking foodie pub to try them out.

We parked with a 90-minute walk in front of us with the intention of wearing out the dogs so they would settle as we ate our lunch.

Our walk took us through fields of sheep and lambs in a drizzling rain with the thought of a good lunch keeping us going.

It seemed everyone had the same idea as me as the barmaid told me they had run out of the scallops. Never mind, there were plenty of other interesting items on the menu to choose from.

We had a relaxed lunch and a local ale while the dogs snoozed at our feet.

The rain had stopped by the time we finished eating, making the return journey that much more pleasant.

I still felt a little peckish after the walk back and remembered the two slices of prune and almond torte I had stashed just in case. Mugs of tea and a slice of cake – ­possibly better than a Rye Bay scallop.

Prune and almond torte


One 22cm sweet tart pastry case

150g soft prunes

200g caster sugar

200g butter

170g ground almonds

30g plain flour

3 eggs


1. Cut the prunes in half and place in the bottom of the pastry case

2. Cream the sugar and butter together.

3. Add the flour and beat in one egg.

4. Add half the ground almonds, beat and add one more egg.

5. Now add the remaining egg and ground almonds and beat together.

6.Pour over the prunes and bake in a pre-heated oven 150C/gas 2.5 for an hour .

7. Check the torte is cooked by piercing with a skewer which should come out cleanly.

8. Serve with mugs of tea or ice cream.

Lawrence’s restaurant is Fat Olives at Emsworth ( - 01243 377914.