Lemon Balm and Orange Salad

A fresh and fragrant salad, Lemon Balm and Orange Salad is delicious served with duck or roast pork.

4 large oranges

2 large green peppers, white pith removed, seeded and thinly sliced

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

½ teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt – teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh lemon balm

2 oz. gelatine

1 fl. oz. warm water egg yolks

1 oz. sugar

½ teaspoon salt grated rind of

1 lemon

6 fl. oz. hot milk

½ teaspoon lemon essence

5 fl. oz. double cream

3 egg whites

2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted

In a cup, soften the gelatine in the water. Place the cup in a pan of simmering water to dissolve the gelatine completely.

Set aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks, half the sugar, the salt and the lemon rind together with a wire whisk until they are pale and thick. Gradually add the hot milk, stirring constantly. Pour the mixture into a medium-sized sauce-pan and set it over low heat. Cook the custard gently, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it coats the back of the spoon. Be careful not to boil the custard or it will curdle.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the custard through a strainer back into the bowl. Stir in the gelatine and the lemon essence. Allow the custard to cool to room temperature, then place it in the refrigerator to chill for about 45 minutes or until it is beginning to set.

Meanwhile in a small mixing bowl, beat the cream with a wire whisk or rotary beater until it is thick but not stiff. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a wire whisk or rotary beater until they are frothy. Add the remaining sugar and continue beating until they form stiff peaks.

With a metal spoon, fold the whipped cream into the almost setting custard. When it is completely mixed in, fold in the egg whites.

Pour the mixture into the pastry case. Place the flan in the refrigerator and chill it for at least 2 hours, or until the filling is firm and very cold. Sprinkle over the toasted almonds and serve.

Lemon Balm

Lemon or garden balm is a hardy peren-nial with fragrant leaves. The leaves taste pleasantly of lemon and are used for flavouring. The dried leaves retain their scent and are used as one of the ingredients in a pot-pourri. A few dried leaves in a pot of tea make a fragrant, refreshing drink.

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