So, we decided to make Carragheen Pudding (or Hebridean Jelly). We got this way back when we were on Eigg back in 2019, but it’s sat in our cupboard mainly because it’s vanishingly rare that we have 750ml of milk kicking around which we don’t have a use for.
I mean, it’s pretty rare that we have that much milk in the house at all. Certainly dairy in that quantity is uncommon. Oatmilk, maybe. But anyhow, we realised that after xmas we had a most of a half-gallon container left over which we had no specific plan for, along with some extra half-and-half and some extra cream. So that all got thrown in.
Carragheen is, apparently, a specific variety of seaweed (which I didn’t realise until looking it up) and the recipe we have is a little different:
10g Dried Carragheen
2-3 Strips Lemon Peel
1 tsp Lemon Juice
2 tsp sugar
1 egg yolk
Lemon slices to decorate
Double cream to serve
You rinse then soak the carragheen for 15 minutes. Then plop it in a saucepan with the milk and the lemon peel. You bring that to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes.
At this point the carragheen should be “quite gelatinous” and the mixture should start to thicken. Then you force it all through a fine sieve, rubbing until the caragheen is through.
Return that to the suacepan, stir in the sugar, egg yolk, lemon juice and bring it up to a simmer for about a minute or two, stirring continuously. Then you pour it into a wetted mould and leave to set for 2-3 hours (or in our case, in the fridge, overnight). It’s served with lemon slices and whipped cream.
Now, we’d never had Carragheen pudding before, so I’ve no idea if what we made is correct, but it came out with a texture like a firm mousse. Or an American pudding, I guess. And it’s… interesting. It’s not bad. It’s just, well, we felt it was lacking something.
We added a bit of honey on top to it as part of our experiments in fiddling with it, which helped. It cut through the creaminess with some sharpness that helped, but texturally it was a bit lacking for our tastes. So today we’re adding a Graham Cracker / cheesecake type base. I’ve just baked that, so hopefully that should fix the texture thing. If it does, I’d happily make it again. It’s really pretty easy – and it doesn’t taste like seaweed, which was a concern. I’d also be tempted to make some kind of sharp-fruity glaze to go on top once it’s set – again, to cut through that milkiness with some sharpness.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing how this experiment goes :)