Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Blanc Mange

Easy there, it's pretty straight-forward, not some intimidating French recipe bound to terrorize your good-hearted multiple attempts for many years. Blanc Mange, literally translated "white eats" or white food, maybe. Which is accurate, as it would be to call it a molded milk pudding. It is the
recipe you may have noted in this past Sunday's New York Times Magazine contributed by Amanda Hesser with Karen DeMasco of Craft.

Print this recipe out and do this now. It will take 2 minutes to execute if you have everything on hand. If you don't, use orange zest instead of lemon, use vanilla instead of almond. But, do it now. Ramekins? Mine are over at my Mom's where I last used them to make that terribly wonderful Savory Leek Bread Pudding in Frank Sitt's Southern Table, so, I used cafe au lait bowls which work fine. But I could have used a cereal bowl or coffee cup, and it would have been just as fine. Also, I used half milk and half heavy cream, it was so beautiful I nearly teared up right there. But use Ronnybrook if you can, this is a tasty, buttery milk made by a great farm not far from here, who should keep doing what they do, even if I did not run up to the Country Farmer right then to get a bottle...

Be warned of two things not mentioned in the recipe or accompanying article:

First, "chill until firm" for me, meant four hours. And warming the outside of the bowls to loosen the pudding resulted in a puddle surrounding the still beautfully unmolded pudding (see photo). Don't be afraid of this, it won't hurt this quick, easy, silky dessert a smidge, and neither will not making the port sauce to go with it.

I had about six minutes to make Blanc Mange - Blushing Hostess history this morning while my daughter played happily, if quickly, in her crib. I love a recipe that doesn't tie me up for hours as no one around here has the patience for that at this time in our lives. Thank you, Amanda Hesser, for adding to the arsenal of well-done, elegant menu items that did not hurt a bit or intimidate in the least.

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