Queen Anne’s Custard

Although the true origin of this dessert is unknown, it is most probable that Queen Anne expressed a liking for sweet custards and it was created for and named after her. Queen Anne’s Custard is a simple dessert of vanilla custard with a creamy smooth meringue, flavoured with a hint of orange. It can be served hot or cold.

1 teaspoon butter

1 vanilla pod

1 pint milk

2 egg yolks

2 eggs

2 oz. castor sugar

2 fl. oz. orange-flavoured liqueur 6 oz. Meringue Italienne grated rind of 1 large orange

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C). Using the teaspoon of butter, grease a 9-inch ovenproof pie dish.

Place the vanilla pod and the milk in a medium-sized saucepan. Set the pan over moderate heat and scald the milk (bring to just below boiling point). Remove the pan from the heat, cover and set aside to infuse for 20 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod, wipe it dry and reserve it for future use.

Place the egg yolks, eggs and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Half-fill a large saucepan with boiling water and place the bowl over the saucepan. Place the pan over moderately low heat. Using a wire whisk or rotary beater, whisk the egg mixture until it is thick and pale.

Remove the pan from the heat and remove the bowl from the pan. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, grad-ually pour the milk in a thin stream on to the egg mixture.

Strain the custard into the prepared dish. Half-fill a roasting tin with boiling water. Place the dish in the tin and place the tin in the oven. Bake the custard for 40 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre of the custard comes out clean. Remove the tin from the oven and the dish from the tin. Increase the oven temperature to hot 425 °F (Gas

Mark 7, 220°C).

Spoon the orange-flavoured liqueur over the top of the custard. Spread the meringue over the top of the custard in decorative swirls. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until the meringue has browned slightly.

Remove the dish from the oven. Sprinkle the orange rind over the top and serve immediately, if you are serving the custard hot.

Queen Cakes

Little sponge cakes with dried fruit, Queen Cakes are a traditional British tea-time favourite. They are so called because a ‘crown’ of currants is placed in each patty tin before the batter is added. If you prefer, other kinds of fruit may be substituted for the currants – cherries, raisins, angelica or mixed peel.

16

4 oz. plus

2 teaspoons butter

3 oz. currants

6 oz. flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

4 oz. castor sugar

2 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375dF (Gas Mark 5, 190CC). Using the 2 teaspoons of butter, grease 16 patty tins. Arrange a few of the currants in a circle in the bottom of each tin. Set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set aside.

In another medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the remaining butter and the sugar

Queen’s Flan may be served for supper with a green salad. together with a wooden spoon until they are light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the flour mixture with each egg. Using a metal spoon, fold in the remaining flour. Add the milk and stir until the batter has a smooth dropping consistency.

Spoon the mixture into the patty tins, smoothing it over with the back of the spoon. Put the tins on a large baking sheet and place them in the centre of the oven.

Bake the cakes for 15 to 20 minutes or until the centres spring back when lightly pressed with a finger.

Remove the tins from the oven. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes, then turn them out on to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

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