Venus Pudding

Venus Pudding is a delightful blend of apricots and cream.

I2 lb. apricots, halved and stoned

1 fl. oz. water

1 tablespoons Vanilla Sugar

½ oz. gelatine

2 tablespoons apricot brandy

1 x

7-inch Sponge Cake

4 tablespoons apricot jam

4 tablespoons medium sherry

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

3 oz. blanched pistachio nuts, chopped

15 fl. oz. double cream

6 fl. oz. milk

A delightful dessert, Venus Pudding is made with apricot, sponge cake and a rich creamy jelly.

Preheat the oven to warm 325 GF (Gas Mark 3, 170°C).

Place the apricots in an ovenproof dish and pour over the water. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the vanilla sugar over the apricots and place the dish in the oven. Cook the apricots for 30 to 40 minutes or until they are very tender but still firm. Remove the dish from the oven. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apricots to a plate.

Pour the apricot cooking juices into a small saucepan and add the gelatine. Place the pan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the gelatine has dissolved. Do not allow the liquid to boil. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the remaining vanilla sugar and the brandy to the saucepan and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients.

Slice the sponge cake in half, hori-zontally, and spread the jam over the bottom half. Sandwich the sponge to-gether again. Cut the sponge into 1-inch squares and place the squares in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Pour over the sherry and set aside for 5 minutes.

With the teaspoon of oil, lightly grease a 3-pint mould. Arrange the apricot halves and pistachio nuts decor-atively in the mould.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the cream with a wire whisk or rotary beater until it is thick but not stiff.

Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold in the milk and the apricot jelly mixture.

Pour half the cream mixture into the mould and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until it is set.

Remove the mould from the refrigera-tor. Place the sponge in the centre of the mould and pour the remaining cream mixture on top. Chill the mould in the refrigerator for 2 hours or until it has set completely.

Remove the mould from the refrigera-tor. Dip the mould quickly in hot water. Invert a serving dish over the mould and, grasping the two firmly together, reverse them. The mould should slide out easily. Serve immediately.

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