In the run up to Christmas there are always a host of tempting food TV-programmes filling the schedule. Last night we were pleased to spot one of our friends, Dr Annie Gray, gracing our screens again. Annie visited us in October for our Deer Festival and showed us a number of venison recipes. She used our own venison and worked in costume in our Victorian Kitchen.
Annie is a well-known food historian and last night she was seen in the BBC Food and Drink Christmas Special alongside Historian, Dr Lucy Worsley. If you missed it, try and catch up on BBC i player.
This episode showed us how to make Nesselrode Pudding. It is a Victorian dessert which would be served among a great big spread of dishes making up the dessert course of a fancy meal. We wonder if the Lucy’s were served it in their grand dining room…
Recipe for Nesselrode Pudding
Based on Eliza Acton’s recipe of 1845.
1. Take around 30 chestnuts. (The recipe calls for 24, but those nice tins hold 30 which is perfect – and the tins are better than the vac packs.)
2. Obviously, you can take whole ones, blanch, peel, swear, weep. But I wouldn’t. Force the chestnuts through a wire sieve, or food process.
3. You’ll have a fine, slightly moist, floury paste. Add ½ pint single cream. Set aside.
4. Now heat ½ single cream with the peel of ½ lemon and 2-3 oz sugar.
5. And 1/3 chopped vanilla pod (or some extract). Don’t quite boil, then lower the heat and infuse for 20 minutes. Soak gelatine sheets in cold water.
6. Use 4-6 sheets depending on how wobbly you want it. 5 is a safe option. Once they are thoroughly softened, add to the hot cream and stir.
7. They should dissolve. If not, heat the cream some more. Now strain into the cost chestnut mixture and leave to cool completely.
8. Chop finely 2oz each dried cherries and mixed peel. When the cream mix is really thick, add the fruit.
9. Prepare whatever mould you are using. Trex is your friend for demoulding from ceramic or glass. Ensure the mix is cold and bung it in.
10. Chill for at least 5 hours before turning out. NB. If the fruit goes in too early and sinks to the bottom as a result, disaster will ensue.
But a word of advice…
I have now tried making nesselrode cream with a tin of puréed chestnuts. While not an abject failure, it is getting there. Stick to whole.
— Annie Gray (@DrAnnieGray) December 18, 2013