For this retro party pleaser, retro ingredients are required - a ready made sponge flan case, tinned fruit cocktail, eggs and ice cream. I tried to go really retro with the ice cream, but I failed to find an old fashioned block in cardboard, so I went 'indulgent' with some lovely Mackies vanilla instead. Fanny says you can either make your own ice cream (but 'surprisingly' she doesn't give a recipe) or you can soften and reshape some bought stuff. This seems perfect for me, and a perfect opportunity for me to reach for my retro rabbit mould which reminds me of puddings and jellies when I was young. Fanny just uses a circular mould, am I going too far?
I spray the mould lightly with oil before filling with the softened ice cream and returning it to the freezer to firm up again. It should be really hard. Fanny says I should trim the sponge to the correct size and moisten it with some juice from the fruit. Then add some of the fruit and place the brick hard ice cream on top.
The final flourish is a topping of piped meringue. Fanny has talked me through this before, and gives a nod in the partwork to say that she hopes I have been paying attention. I have. So, eggs are separated and whites whisked before you know it. Fanny likes to add some sugar and whisk again and then add more sugar folded in at the end. I'm not sure if Fanny would think I'm showing off, but I add some orange food colouring to a wee bit to make some meringue carrots too. Why not?
Fanny gets her poor assistant Peter to pipe the 'masking meringue mixture' over the whole thing, making sure it's all thickly buried in meringue. Fanny warns that we should not 'deny the evidence of our own eyes' and do exactly what Peter does in the pic-strip, which is expert piping and the putting it in a very hot oven. Pesky Peter however does not say how long to leave it in there, but I check it after about 8 minutes and it seems done. I've never made Baked Alaska, ahem I mean Omelette Norvègienne, before so this so exciting. It tastes like a luxurious trifle really, I'm surprised and relieved that the ice cream remained cold. I must've masked it well. More importantly, it looks sensational, especially when I tiddle it up Fanny-style with some extra fruit and the meringue carrots. Wherever the higher eschelons of the omelette tree are, I think I've gone there. But, have I out Fanny'd Fanny?