Thursday, 9 February 2017

Pinky & Perky

I always take Fanny Cradock's advice. Well, more often than not. Okay, sometimes. I certainly abide by one of her favourite recommendations, which is to scour the 'thrift' shops for hidden treasures. She's forever popping in to see if she can pick up an unusual dish, a discarded ornament or if she's lucky a delightful mould in which to present her food at it's very best. I can't resist a rummage myself. From time to time I pick something up though that I wonder 'when will I ever use that?' The vintage mould I bought last year is one such item...

Fanny Cradock Apricot Mould

Fanny's guidance is to make her Apricot Snow, or La Délice des Abricots, in an old fashioned pyramid mould. It's round and resembles a pyramid only in the way it reaches for the sky with each circular step slightly smaller than the previous one. A bit more like a pointy hat than a pyramid. Well, if only I had one. I am often envious of Fanny's moulds, and she knows it. She practically thrives on being the first to bag the bargains. I had thought I'd have to improvise wildly on this dish, when I suddenly remembered the mould I'd bought and tucked away at the back of the cupboard, waiting for it's perfect time to shine. The relief!

Fanny Cradock Apricot Mould

The recipe itself is a variation on the by-now-familiar blancmange theme. With the addition of cold tea. Fanny uses small, stoned, ripe apricots for her Délice, but they aren't really in season at the moment, so I grab a tin I had snuggled away next to the mould at the back of my long-forgotten kitchen cupboard. No shame in that, remember. Fanny cooks hers in a low oven, swimming in the cold tea and then rubs them through a sieve while they are still hot, to emulsify. I whizz mine up in the food processor. Perfectly pulsed purée.

Fanny Cradock Apricot Mould

Fanny whisks up a couple of egg whites, adds some single cream, mixes through the cold tea and folds in the purée. And so do I. I know when to strike out on my own, and this isn't the time. Fanny dissolves gelatine in a little extra cold tea. As I'm using my veggie-friendly Agar, I need to dissolve it in the tea, and bring it up to they boil to activate it. Once done, it's swirled into the mix. It looks light and fluffy, just like freshly drifted snow, as Fanny hoped, ready for the mould.

Fanny Cradock Apricot Mould

It's only now that I have rescued the mould from the dark recesses of my cupboard that I remember why I tucked it away in the first place. Yes, it makes a decent substitute for a pyramid, but it's, well, there's no escaping this, very booby. I'm really not sure when it would be acceptable to use it, or indeed what it's original purpose actually was. I should've made two perhaps. It's not like I'll be using the mould regularly, or even again for a while. It'll just nestle back into the back of the cupboard and be forgotten again more than likely. Maybe I need to donate it back to the charity shop? I'd have to hide it in something else, or try to disguise it? Would they accept it I wonder?

Fanny Cradock Apricot Mould

6 comments:

  1. I love the thought of the cold tea in this! The result looks, erm, perky to say the least :D

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    1. The tea made a nice difference actually - to the taste, not the perky-ness! ;-)

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  2. Definitely very booby. But boobs are fab, so why not enjoy your mould? That dessert would break the ice at a dinner party.

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  3. I'm loving the boob mould. I say go with it. Embrace the boob, so to speak.

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