Church fêtes were a big deal back when I was a kid. Pretty much the biggest deal other than the annual Boswell Wilkie circus visit to town. You must understand that the era I’m referring to predates DStv, computer games, malls of any kind except in the ‘big city’ and whatever the heck else kids these days do for fun. So when the ladies from church got together to sell pancakes and the fruits of their crochet/knitting endeavours, it was indeed an event.
Other than pancakes, weak-as-a-kitten curried mince on rice was a church fête must. That along with old-fashioned ‘bazaar’ pudding – a fluffy, melt-in-the-mouth concoction made of whipped evaporated milk and jelly.
I hadn’t thought of this particular pud for, well, decades I suppose. Then a friend happened to mention it over a plate of pasta on Christmas Eve and I felt it high time to revisit this childhood treat. The Ideal milk stays, but the packet of powdered jelly (which really offers nothing other than sweet) gets the boot. In its place I make an intense raspberry puree that I fold into the evaporated milk along with a few leaves of gelatine. It’s a more adult, more contemporary take on a yesteryear favourite. Because evaporated milk has a relatively low fat content, this is the perfect light summer pudding for those coming to terms with the consequences of Christmas excess. Replace the sugar with Xylitol and you could even call this pudding healthy…
All you need is…
1 x 380g tin of evaporated milk
2 cups of frozen raspberries
½ cup water
¾ cup sugar
5 leaves gelatine (I used the leaf gelatine available at Woolworths – approx. 230 bloom)
Chill the evaporated milk. It needs to be super cold, so at least 3 hours in the fridge. Place the raspberries, sugar and water in a small saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. Remove and pour into your liquidizer or food processor. Blitz until it is a smooth puree. Strain the puree through a sieve to remove all the seeds. Allow the raspberry puree to cool to room temperature. NB: Spoon out half a cup of the puree and set it aside.
Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5-10 minutes, then remove and gently squeeze out the liquid. Place the leaves in a small bowl and stir in 3 tablespoons of very hot water to dissolve the gelatine. It takes mere seconds.
Stir the dissolved gelatine into the raspberry puree (the half a cup you spooned out earlier stays separate and does not get any gelatine.) Pour the cold evaporated milk into a large bowl and whisk it until it is foamy and thick. Fold the puree mix containing the gelatine into the evaporated milk. Pour into a large bowl or several individual bowls or glasses. Cover with cling film (so it does not absorb fridgy flavours) and chill until set.
Serve this light-as-a-cloud raspberry pudding with a generous splodge of the puree you set aside. NOTE: This pudding can also be made with fresh raspberries instead of frozen. Strawberries, either fresh or frozen, also work well.