Saturday, 3 January 2009

Prune & Apricot Whip with Custard

Unfortunately, unless you dried them yourself last summer, the prunes and apricots are not going to be local. I don't know why no-one is producing dried fruit in Ontario. (Anyone...?) Now that I have the space, one of the things I would like to acquire is a good sturdy food drier. They really do come in handy for a lot of things, but we've already burned out 2 or 3 of the cheaper versions. Next one is going to be top quality.

Anyway, this was a favourite dessert from my childhood. Actually, Mom just made it with prunes. I think the apricots make it a little lighter and more complex in flavour. It doesn't seem very common anymore, possibly because people are iffy about the raw egg whites. If you think that may be a problem, this is not the dessert for you.

If you use a lighter milk and reduce or omit the butter, the results are not as good (duh) but on the other hand, this becomes quite dietetic.

4 to 6 servings
1 hour prep time - 4 hours or more to chill

Prune and Apricot Whip with Custard
The Prune & Apricot Whip:
1/2 cup prunes
1/2 cup dried apricots
2 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon gelatine
the juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 extra-large egg whites

Stew the prunes and apricots in the water until they fall apart. Remove the pits, if any. Give them a quick whizz through a food processor or blender. Add the sugar.

Meanwhile, soak the gelatine in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir the hot fruit purée into the gelatine mixture. Stir well to ensure the gelatine is completely dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool, but not to set.

Beat the egg whites until they are very stiff. Fold them gently into the cooled fruit purée. Spoon the mixture into a large bowl and chill until set. It may be unmolded, or served straight from the bowl. With custard, of course, which is where those 3 egg yolks are going to go.

Custard:
3 extra-large egg yolks
1/4 cup of sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch or very fine flour
1 1/2 cups light cream or rich milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In the top of a double boiler beat the egg yolks with the sugar, salt and starch or flour. Slowly beat in the cream or milk until it is all in and the mixture is very smooth.

Now turn the heat on medium, and cook the custard until it thickens, stirring frequently to start and constantly as it shows signs of getting hot and thickening.

Once it is thick, remove it from the stove and stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Serve warm (but not too hot) or cold over the Prune & Apricot Whip. This is a runny custard, so it will not get wildly thick. As with all custards, once it has thickened, it is done - do not cook it any longer or it may curdle, lump or thin out. It will be thicker cold than hot.

1 comment:

Marcy said...

Oh my goodness. I would love to have some prune whip with custard sauce again; it's been years... And yours is served in another nice dish. I also like the puffin napkin in the other post.