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Prince Albert's Pudding

ingredients

serves 6
fat for greasing
400 g (14 oz) prunes, soaked overnight in water to cover
grated rind of 1 lemon
2 tbsp (25 g) 1 oz soft light brown sugar
1 stick (8 Tbsp)4 oz (100 g) butter or margarine
1/2 cup (100 g) 4 oz caster sugar (superfine granulated)
2 eggs, separated
3/8 cup (40 g) rice flour
4 oz (100 g) brown breadcrumbs

for the sauce

1 tsp (5 ml) arrowroot
250 ml (8 fl oz) prune liquid
2 level tsp granulated sugar
2 - 3 drops red food colouring

method

1. Drain the prunes and transfer them to a saucepan.

2. Add half the lemon rind, the brown sugar and 500 ml (17 fl oz) water.

3. Simmer gently until soft, stirring lightly from time to time to dissolve the sugar.

4. As soon as the prunes are soft, drain them, reserving 250 ml (8 fl oz) of the cooking liquid.

5. When the prunes are cool enough to handle, halve and stone them.

6. Grease a 1 litre (1 3/4 pint) pudding basin.

7. Use the prunes, skin side out, to line the basin. Chop any remaining prunes and set aside.

8. Prepare a steamer or half fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil.

9. Cream the butter or margarine with the caster sugar in a mixing bowl.

10. Beat in the egg yolks with the remaining lemon rind, the rice flour and the breadcrumbs.

11. Stir in any remaining prunes.

12. In a clean, grease free bowl, whisk the egg whites until fairly stiff. Fold into the pudding mixture.

13. Spoon the mixture into the prepared basin, cover with greased greaseproof paper or foil and secure with string.

14. Put the pudding in the perforated part of the steamer, or stand it on an old saucer or plate in the saucepan of boiling water.

15. The water should come halfway up the sides of the basin.

16. Cover the pan tightly and steam the pudding over gently simmering water for 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours.

17. Meanwhile make the sauce. In a bowl, mix the arrowroot to a smooth paste with some of the reserved prune liquid.

18. Put the rest of the liquid into a saucepan and bring it to the boil.

19. Gradually pour the hot liquid over the arrowroot paste, stirring constantly.

20. Return the mixture to the clean saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring all the time.

21. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.

22. Add the colouring. When the pudding is cooked, leave for 5 - 10 minutes at room temperature to firm up, then carefully turn out on to a serving plate.

23. Pour the sauce over the top and serve at once.

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