Baked sago pudding with apricot jam and a feather light meringue topping… Hmmm. This is the stuff of my childhood – when Sunday lunch on gran’s farm was by far the biggest treat of the week. Out would come the snow-white crocheted tablecloth, big enough for a table that would seat grandma, grandpa, 9 kids and their offspring. She must have spent years making it, we’re talking very fine thread here, not wool. To be sure I’m surprised she had time to pop out nine wee ones. But then again I never saw her without a crochet needle.

Gran considered crocheting the mark of a good woman. Her house showed it, with a chocheted doilie for every ornament in her Royal Doulton shepherdess collection. And then there were the antimacassars; pretty crocheted protection for her stuffed Sanderson sofas – because apparently men used a lot of ‘product’ in their hair, even back then.

Gran tried valiantly to impart her crochet wisdom. It didn’t take and I can’t claim to be sad about that. But fortunately her love of cooking did. I still turn to her recipes for nostalgic comfort food. Things like Ideal-milk ice cream and ‘souskluitjies’ (cinnamon dumpling). And then there’s the baked sago – spiced, milky, starchy deliciousness under a meringue blankie. I do adjust her recipe somewhat because nowadays we’re all a bit more familiar with the concept of heart health. That’s why the butter and the sugar get halved. And the apricot jam, that used to go on before the meringue layer, is left out. It makes an appearance on the side in the form of a tangy apricot-lemon sauce, so everyone can adjust sweetness levels according to their liking. The nostalgic dishes of yesteryear reinvented for now, this is how I love to cook.

All you need is…

1 cup sago
4 cups milk
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup sugar
4 tbs salted butter
4 large eggs, separated
3 tbs castor sugar
8 tbs fine apricot jam
4 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tbs water

Soak the sago in water for 30 minutes then drain. Place the sago, milk, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to just below boiling point while stirring. Turn the heat to its very lowest setting, place the lid on and cook until the sago is completely translucent. Do stir it every few minutes to prevent it from burning. Once cooked, stir in the butter. Set aside and allow to cool down a bit then stir in the 4 whisked egg yolks. (Even if you let it cool down a bit, you need to work fast and stir vigorously to prevent the egg from scrambling.) Pour into an oven-proof dish.

Whisk the egg whites until white and fluffy, then slowly add the castor sugar a spoon at a time while whisking. Once it is stiff and glossy, pile the egg whites onto the sago.

Place the dish in a larger dish half filled with warm water and bake at 160 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes until golden. Put the apricot jam, water and lemon in a cup and place in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt. Serve the sago pudding warm with the warm apricot-lemon sauce on the side.

serves

8

soak

30 min

bake

30-40 min

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Ook beskikbaar in: Afrikaans