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Queen Mab's Pudding

ingredients

serves 4 to 6
oil for greasing
400 ml (14 fl oz) milk
pared rind of 1 lemon
3 eggs
1/3 cup (75 g) 3oz castor sugar
few drops of almond essence
2 tsp (10 ml) gelatine
2 oz (50 g) glace cherries, halved
25 g (1 oz) cut mixed peel or whole citron
peel, finely chopped. 125 ml (4 fl oz) double cream (heavy cream)

for the decoration

whipped cream
glace cherries

method

1. Lightly oil a 750 ml (1 1/4 pint) mould.

2. In a saucepan warm the milk with the lemon rind, but do not let it boil.

3. Beat the eggs with the sugar in a mixing bowl until fluffy and pale, and slowly stir in the warm milk.

4. Strain the custard back into the clean pan or into a double saucepan or bowl placed over hot water.

5. Cook over very low heat for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring all the time, until the custard thickens. Do not let it approach the boil.

6. Strain the custard into a bowl, stir in the almond essence, and leave to cool.

7. Put 15 ml (1 tbsp) water into a small heatproof bowl, and sprinkle the gelatine on top of the liquid.

8. Stand the bowl over a saucepan of hot water and stir the gelatine until it has dissolved completely.

9. Cool the mixture slightly, then stir it into the custard. Leave in a cool place until it begins to set, stirring from time to time to prevent the formation of a skin.

10. Stir the cherries and chopped peel into the setting custard.

11. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it is semi-stiff, then fold it into the mixture.

12. Pour the pudding into the prepared mould and refrigerate for about 2 hours until set.

13. Turn out on to a flat, wetted plate. Decorate with whipped cream and glace cherries.

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