#40 Elizabeth Raffald’s Orange Custards

I knew that we’d be hungover on Saturday after a big drinking session on Canal Street, so I knew I’d have to choose a recipe for a dessert I could prepare ahead for the meal we were having at Greg sister’s boyfriend’s in the evening. I wanted to do a sticky toffee pudding really, but it would have to have been cooked there. I went for (#40) Elizabeth Raffald’s Orange Custards as I had a couple of Seville oranges in, and it would be a shame not to use them. It was a bit of a risk however, as custards are either loved or hated. I realise that they don’t look that nice on the picture, but they were very good.

They were easy to prepare: In a blender the juice of one Seville orange, the blanched peel of half of said orange, granulated sugar, a splash of Cointreau (which I happened to have in! Get me!) and six large egg yolks were all whizzed up until the peel was just tiny specks. I then boiled half a pint of double and half a pint of single cream and slowly pored this into the whirring mixture. Pour the whole thing into eight ramekins and bake in a bain Marie for half an hour in a cool to moderate oven.

All would have gone well if my stupid oven hadn’t conked out! I got it sorted in the end though. I cannot wait to get my new oven in. My partly-done kitchen is getting pretty depressing now. My stuff is still in the lounge in boxes and bags…

Anyways, enough whingeing…

FYI: Elizabeth Raffald did many things in her short 18 year career (she started aged 14, but died at 32). She wrote the first English cookbook (The Experienced English Housekeeper), was the landlady of two inns, including the King’s Head pub in Salford, ran two shops, ran the first domestic servant’s employment agency, organised the first street and trade directory in Manchester as well as two newspapers as an eminence rose (not sure what that means, anyone know?) and had fifteen daughters! I think I might try and get hold of a copy of her book…

#40 Elizabeth Raffald’s Orange Custards – 8/10. Surprisingly orangey bearing in mind the fact you only need one to make eight. The Seville orange makes your tongue go all tingly – they really are superior to normal oranges when cooking.

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