Recipe archive: Tansy Pudding

Tansy Pudding

First published: April 2017

An Easter treat for centuries, tansies originally contained herb tansy and other greens, intended as a beneficial spring tonic. With plenty of eggs to celebrate Lent’s end, they werelike a green-tinged omelette. Gradually, over time, tansies became sweeter and tansy, which turned out to be fairly toxic, was dropped. Other ingredients including almonds, sweet biscuit or breadcrumbs, and orange flower or rose water were included.

Here’s a slightly updated tansy pudding, made in the spirit of later sweet ones.

INGREDIENTS: Serves 4-6
For the crumbs

  • 50g (2oz) oatcakes, broken into pieces
  • 20g (¾oz) golden granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 20g (¾oz) melted butter
    For the tansy
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons double cream
  • Enough whole milk to make up egg/
    cream quantity to 300ml
  • ¼ teaspoon orange flower water
  • 40g (1½ oz) golden caster sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Similar amount of freshly ground nutmeg
  • To serve: extra cream and fresh orange slices

METHOD:
Preheat oven to 160°C (fan oven) or equivalent.

You will need a buttered 23cm (9”) pie dish or similar and a large roasting tin.

Whiz oatcakes into crumbs in a food processor with sugar and ginger. Add butter and whiz until crumbs are evenly coated. Set aside.

Whisk 1 egg and 2 yolks with orange flower water and pass through a sieve. Reserve egg
whites.

Add spices and whisk in sugar gradually.

Whisk in milk and cream.

Whisk egg whites separately until soft peaks form. Fold gently into egg mixture.
Pour into dish and scatter with crumbs.

Transfer to roasting tin and pour tepid water halfway up sides.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until almost set but still with a slight wobble: it is in effect a delicate egg custard so avoid over-baking.

Serve warm or chilled with extra cream and a squeeze of orange juice.

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