CAR­RAGEEN MOSS PUD­DING WITH RHUBARB AND SWEET CICELY OR AN­GEL­ICA COM­POTE

Vancouver Sun - - YOU -

Serves: 6

1/4 oz (7 g) cleaned, well-dried Ir­ish (car­rageen) moss (1 semi-closed fist­ful; see note) 3 3/4 cups (930 mL) whole milk 1 vanilla bean or 1/2 tsp

(2.5 mL) pure vanilla ex­tract 1 large or­ganic egg

1 tbsp (15 mL) su­perfine sugar Softly whipped cream, to serve (op­tional)

For the rhubarb and sweet cicely or an­gel­ica com­pote:

2 cups (500 mL) sim­ple syrup (recipe be­low)

1 lb (454 g) rhubarb Sweet cicely or an­gel­ica leaves, to gar­nish

1. Soak the Ir­ish moss in a bowl of tepid wa­ter for 10 min­utes. It will swell and in­crease in size. Strain off the wa­ter and put the moss into a saucepan with the milk and the vanilla bean (if us­ing).

2. Bring to a boil and sim­mer gen­tly, cov­ered, for 20 min­utes. At that point and not be­fore, sep­a­rate the egg, put the yolk into a bowl, add the sugar and vanilla ex­tract (if us­ing), and whisk for a few sec­onds, then pour the milk and car­rageen moss through a strainer onto the egg yolk mix­ture, whisk­ing all the time.

3. By now the car­rageen re­main­ing in the strainer will be swollen and ex­ud­ing jelly. You need to push as much of this as pos­si­ble through the strainer, then whisk it into the egg and milk mix­ture.

4. Test for a set in a chilled saucer as one would with gelatin. Whisk the egg white stiffly and fold, or fluff, it in gen­tly; it will rise to make a fluffy top. Cover with plas­tic wrap and chill un­til ready to serve.

5. For the com­pote: Slice the rhubarb into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces. In a saucepan, bring sim­ple syrup to the boil. Add the rhubarb to the boil­ing syrup, stir to com­bine, and re­move the pan from heat. Al­low the rhubarb to sit in the syrup as it cools.

6. Serve the car­rageen pud­ding chilled with the com­pote and lots of softly whipped cream (if us­ing), and gar­nish with sweet cicely or an­gel­ica leaves. Note: Ir­ish or car­rageen moss is a species of red al­gae with gelling prop­er­ties. Find it at health food stores, herb shops or on­line.

SIM­PLE SYRUP

Makes: 3 1/2 cups (875 mL)

1 3/4 cups (430 mL) gran­u­lated white sugar

4 to 6 sweet cicely leaves or 4 tbsp (60 mL) of an­gel­ica leaves

1. Dis­solve the sugar in 3 1/2 cups (625 mL) wa­ter and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 min­utes, then let it cool.

2. Add the sweet cicely or an­gel­ica leaves to the cooled syrup. Store in the fridge un­til needed.

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