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Apricot Custard Cream

ingredients

4 helpings
oil for greasing
500 g fresh apricots or 2 X 425 g cans apricots 3 egg yolks or 1 whole
200 ml milk
3 egg yolks or 1 whole egg and 1 yolk
1/4 cup (50 g) 2 oz sugar
lemon juice (optional)
4 tbls water
2 tsp gelatine
scant 1/2 (us) cup (100 ml) double cream (heavy cream)
scant 1/2 (us) cup (100 ml) single cream

method

1. Oil a 750 ml mould lightly.

2. Poach fresh fruit in a little water and sugar if it needs cooking.

3. Process any fruit in an electric blender when tender, or sieve it if it contains seeds (eg berries or currants).

4. Make the puree up to 200 ml, if necessary, with a little fruit juice, fruit syrup or water.

5. Warm the milk, but do not let it come near the boil.

6. Mix together the eggs and 25 g of the sugar until fluffy and pale, and slowly stir in the milk.

7. Strain the custard back into the saucepan or into a double boiler or basin held over hot water. (Make sure the water does not touch the upper pan.)

8. Cook over very low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring all the time, until it thickens.

9. Do not let it come near the boil.

10. Strain the custard into a bowl and leave to cool.

11. Blend together the fruit puree and the cooled custard.

12. Taste, and add more sugar and a little lemon juice if required.

13. Put the water into a heatproof container, sprinkle in the gelatine and leave to soften.

14. Stand the container in a pan of hot water and stir until the gelatine dissolves.

15. Cool until tepid, and add to the custard.

16. Leave in a cool place until it begins to set, stirring from time to time to prevent a skin forming.

17. Put all the cream into a bowl and whip lightly.

18. Fold into the setting mixture, and pour gently into the mould.

19. Leave to set for about 2 hours.

20. Turn out on to a flat, wetted plate. Decorate as desired.

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