Sunday, June 29, 2008

Blancmange and blueberries

BLANCMANGE (pronounced bluhmaange)
This is my entry for CLICK: Yellow for Bri hosted by

According to the American Heritage Dictionary: old Middle English had the word blankmanger: a dish made with almond milk, and from Old French blanc mangier : blanc, white + mangier, to eat.

In simple words it is a custard made with cornstarch, milk and sugar.
The end result is no longer white, thanks to the advent of food coloring.
Blancmange was a dessert that graced the Sunday table in my mother's house, set in an aluminum rabbit mold. When unmolded, my mother would decorate it with fresh cream that she got from boiling the morning milk. The light dessert was the perfect end to her rich Sunday lunch.
What I'm doing here is recording an old recipe...I know the younger generation in the kitchen prefer the shortcut of instant puddings, but there are some who are curious about, "How were things done back then?" This is for them.
Also, no matter what, the childhood taste and memory of blancmange is revived by this much love attached to those memories.
This dessert is the mother of all the instant puddings on the market these days.
Growing up, we used the British Brown and Polson's flavored cornflour, that came in packets of 5 different colors and flavors to a box, so do experiment with those. Now in lieu of the B&P packets, later replaced by Weikfield's, I use cornstarch and follow this recipe:

2 cups non-fat milk, 2 rounded dessert spoons cornstarch, 2 level dessert spoons sugar (I use Splenda), and 1 tsp vanilla. Food coloring.
Add 1/2 to 1 Tbsp more sugar if you have a sweet tooth.

In a saucepan bring 1 1/2 cups milk to a boil.
In half a cup cold milk mix cornstarch till smooth. (If using Splenda increase cornstarch by 1/3 dessert spoon)
Add food coloring of choice.
Pour mix into boiling milk stirring constantly for 2 minutes till milk thickens to custard consistency.
Remove from stove top and add vanilla.
Mix and pour into mold. Refrigerate, but it also sets without refrigeration.
I used a small mold today, as I made this only for two people and HD (Hubby Dearest) does not like desserts. (More for me, I say)

Unmold and decorate with fresh cream made at home by boiling milk, Crema Fresca, or fruit, or eat as is. I used blueberries as that's what was on hand.
A perfect diabetic dessert, and also great for children/anyone who dislikes drinking milk. It is a fat-free dessert too as I ignore some manufacturer's instructions to add a Tbsp of margarine to the pudding.
Now, Brown and Polson's custard powder is available in some US grocery stores in a tin.
Do not use Splenda if serving this to children or expectant mothers.

1 comment:

V said...

I'm not very familiar with this desert. It would be interesting to try this out. Always longing for somthing new!!