Saturday, 23 February 2008
St Clement's Cream
We're having dinner with friends tonight, so I offered to bring pudding. I like making desserts, but with just 2 of us (one of whom hasn't got much of a sweet tooth) I can hardly ever justify it at home. Some months ago I saw this article in the paper and squirreled the St Clement's Cream recipe away for future reference. It sounded light, fruity and not too sweet - just perfect for the non-sweet tooth. As I've mentioned previously, one of the most successful meals I have ever cooked had Butter'd Orange with a bottle of sauternes for pudding and I thought this would have the same sort of effect. I'm confident enough as a cook - and confident enough in Simon Hopkinson's reputation as a cook and writer - to experiment on friends with new recipes. And anyway, the point of friends is that they will forgive you if you make something disasterous.
It might be a bit early to say for sure, but I think this St Clement's Cream may actually be the best dessert in history. My bowl-licking suggests that the flavour is very well balanced between sharp and sweet, with the flavour carried luxuriously in the cream. The way it set (I used wine glasses to show off the layer of jelly) is very pleasing, like one of my best Lemon Posset efforts. Then the unsweetened layer of jelly has added colour and extra zing. I am quite excited.
I've been trying to decide if it needs something else. A little crisp biscuit as a contrast in texture, or something. Or would that be gilding the lily? I had thought that something like these Marmalade Buttons from Dan Lepard would be perfect (and start using up some of my massive marmalade backlog) but I haven't got any ground rice or semolina in and I'm not entirely sure I could be bothered. Maybe M&S will have some fancy wafers, or I might just let the sheer beauty of the cream shine on its own.
ETA: Yup - Best Pudding Ever. Didn't end up serving it with anything because the local shops didn't have anything appropriate or the ingredients for me to make anything. But the contrast between the sharp, unsweetened jelly and the smooth, zingy cream was just perfect. It had sat out of the fridge for a couple of hours before we ate, but it hadn't suffered at all for it.