Vanilla Blancmange

Blancmange can be a really delicious dessert as this recipe proves. It is especially good served with poached fruit and cream.

3-4 H oz. cornflour

1½ oz. sugar

1 pint milk

1 vanilla pod

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the cornflour and sugar. Add 4 tablespoons of the milk to the bowl and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the mixture forms a smooth paste.

In a saucepan, scald the remaining milk with the vanilla pod over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and set aside for 20 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod from the milk, wipe it dry and store for future use.

Return the pan to moderate heat and bring the milk to just under boiling point. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the milk on to the cornflour mixture, stirring constantly. Return the milk mixture to the pan. Place the pan over moderately low heat and bring the milk mixture to the boil, stirring constantly. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, rinse a 1-pint decorative mould in cold water. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into the mould. Set the mould aside to cool. Chill the mould in the refrigerator for 2 hours or until the blancmange has set.

Remove the mould from the refriger-ator. Using a fingertip, gently pull the blancmange away from the sides of the mould.

Invert a serving dish over the mould and, grasping the two firmly together, reverse them. The blancmange should slide out easily. Serve at once.

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