"Vintage Dessert" Series:

English-style 'Blancmange'

In our Silver and Gold Winter 2019/20 issue, we shared a series of recipes under the title of "Vintage Desserts" which deserve a comeback.  

This one is for the very old-fashioned, easy and delicious "Blancmange" dessert.

Blancmange is a sweet, opaque gelatinous dessert made with cornstarch and milk or cream, and often flavoured with almonds or strawberries. It’s different than Panna Cotta, which is uncooked and gelatin-set, and different yet again than custard, which is cooked using eggs, but similar to Southern Italy’s ‘Cramma’ or ‘Bianco Mangiare’ dessert:

 

To make Blancmange you will need:

• 3 Cups 2% milk, divided

• 1/4 Cup cornstarch

• 1/2 Cup white sugar

• 2 cinnamon sticks

• 1 lemon peel, cut into strips

• 1 pinch ground cinnamon

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Here's how to make it:

Place 1 Cup of milk into a small pot, add lemon peel and cinnamon sticks, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and the sugar, then slowly add remaining milk.

When milk in the pot begins to simmer, slowly pour in the cornstarch/milk mixture into the pot, then whisking vigorously until the mixture begins to gently boil. 

While continuing to whisk in the heated pot, ensure everything is well combined, then remove from heat. 

Remove the lemon peel and cinnamon sticks, and stir in the ground cinnamon and vanilla extract. 

Pour into a large mold, or 6 small individual molds, and refrigerate overnight before serving.

 

Optional: garnish on a bed of strawberries, or powdered cocoa, or slivered almonds, and a sprig of mint.

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