Mary Berry reveals she leaves OUT ‘fancy words’ in her recipes

Baking queen Mary Berry, 83, reveals she deliberately leaves out ‘fancy words’ from her recipes – because she failed English at school

  • Mary Berry, 83, revealed she deliberately leaves ‘fancy words’ out of her recipes 
  • Admitted she ‘writes how she speaks’ because she didn’t pass English in school
  • Revealed favourite dish was mother’s home cooked pie from homegrown apples 

She is known for approachable nature and fuss-free dishes, so it is perhaps not surprising that Mary Berry favours a straightforward approach when it comes to writing recipes.

The baking doyenne, 83, revealed she deliberately leaves out ‘fancy words’ from her cookbooks because she prefers to ‘write as she talks’. 

The former Great British Bake Off star admitted she felt more comfortable using simple language as she failed English at school. 

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Keeping it simple: Mary Berry, 83, said she deliberately leaves ‘fancy words’ out of her recipes 

Speaking to BBC Good Food, she said: ‘My best advice was given to me by my boss at the time, Olwen Frances – she’s in heaven now.

‘I was asked to do some writing for a magazine and I said, “I can cook, but I didn’t pass English in School Cert”. And she told me, “Write as you talk”. So I leave out all the fancy words in my recipes.’

The TV chef, who stepped down from her role as a judge on GBBO when it moved to Channel 4, is fronting a new cooking programme for the BBC, Britain’s Best Home Cook.

Asked about her own favourite dish, she revealed it was the apple pie her mother used to bake using apples picked by her father from their garden. 

Back to basics: The celebrity baker, 83, made the admission as she opened up about her cooking roots alongside her Britain’s Best Home Cook co-stars, pictured

She continued: ‘Dad would bring in windfalls first thing in the morning and she would set to and make the pastry.

‘I make her flaky pastry to this day by grating the butter and the lard, half and half. 

‘The pie was always in the same chipped enamel dish; she would have thin pastry underneath and slightly thicker pastry on top – it was perfect.’

Viewers were struck by the similarities between Bake Off and Britain’s Best Home Cook when the first episode aired on Thursday last week. 

 New show: The TV chef, who stepped down from her role as a judge on GBBO when it moved to Channel 4, is fronting a new cooking programme for the BBC, Britain’s Best Home Cook

In the first episode the cooks were set two different challenges before the bottom four had to battle for the chance to remain in the competition.

The series began with the contestants standing in a row donning blue aprons receiving a warm welcome from host Claudia Winkleman who then introduced them to former Bake Off judge Mary Berry.

As they were put to work on their first challenge the amateur chefs took their places at workstations complete with their own ovens and fridges.

On screen success: Mary Berry with Great British Bake Off co-host Paul Hollywood, pictured 

While they were getting their food ready for the ‘ultimate burger’ task, Claudia offered words of encouragements while cracking rude jokes, which drew comparisons to former GBBO anchors Mel and Sue’s presenting style. 

However in an interview with The Mirror last week, Mary insisted the shows had distinctly different aims. 

She said: ‘We are totally different from Bake Off because it is all about cakes and baking and it has got quite complicated, with all sorts of equipment to ice, flavour and colour, and very intricate. Home cooking is totally different.’

Britain’s Best Home Cook airs on BBC One at 8pm on Thursday.

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