Italian Cheese and Almond Pudding

This popular Italian pudding of cheese, almonds and rum is a delectable dessert for a summer dinner party. If ricotta is unobtainable, any good quality unsalted curd or cottage cheese may be substituted.

4-6 SERVINGS

1 teaspoon butter

1 tablespoon dry white breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon sultanas or seedless raisins

2 tablespoons chopped mixed candied peel

2 fl. oz. rum

1 lb. ricotta cheese

4 eggs

3 oz. ground almonds

2 oz. slivered almonds

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind

2 oz. sugar

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Lightly grease a large baking dish with the butter and sprinkle it with the bread-crumbs. Set aside.

Place the sultanas or seedless raisins and candied peel in a small bowl and cover them with the rum. Leave to soak for 10 minutes.

Using the back of a wooden spoon push the ricotta through a strainer into a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the sultanas or seedless raisins, candied peel, rum, ground and slivered almonds, cin- namon, lemon rind and sugar.

Turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish and place it in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the top is light brown.

Remove the dish from the oven and allow the pudding to cool.

When the pudding is cold, put it in the refrigerator and leave to chill for at least 1 hour.

To turn the pudding out, run a knife round the edge of the dish and reverse it on to a serving dish.

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