CARRAGEEN MOSS PUDDING WITH RHUBARB AND SWEET CICELY OR ANGELICA COMPOTE
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.
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.