Ching-He Huang's longevity peach pudding
Cooking time:chilling time)
In China, peaches symbolise long life, seen in Empress Cixi's peach-laden palace, inspiring Ching to create this pud.
For the peach pudding
- 2 x 235g (drained weight) tinned peaches in syrup
- 200ml/7fl oz evaporated milk
- 100g/3 1/2 oz caster sugar
- 12 gelatine leaves
- 200ml/7fl oz water
- Single cream to serve (optional)
For the mixed berry fruit compote
- 1 small handful each of blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries
- 1tbsp caster sugar
- For decorating
- 2 ripe nectarines
- 2 handfuls of crushed ice
- Puree the peaches with their syrup in a blender. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the evaporated milk, then add the sugar and mix well.
- Place the leaf gelatine in a little cold water and leave for 5 mins to soften. Lift out and place in a pan with the measured water. Heat gently until the gelatine dissolves. Pour the gelatine mixture into the peach puree.
- Ladle the mixture into four serving bowls, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Just before serving, make the warmed compote. Heat a small pan, add all the berries to warm through, then add the sugar and stir gently to dissolve.
- Halve the nectarines, remove the stones and cut into slices. Place the slices in a circular fan on top of the peach puree in the serving bowls. Place a tablespoon of crushed ice in the middle of each, then top with a tablespoon of the compote. Drizzle with cream, if you like, and serve immediately.
www.chinghe.com This recipe is from Ching-He Huang's Chinese Food Made Easy, available from Amazon priced £8.49. Win a copy of the best-selling book in our competition. Ching's extra info: Empress Dowager Cixi, of the late Qing dynasty, was a very superstitious woman. If you visit her favourite summer palace in Beijing, you will find peach-decorated vases and paintings everywhere. To the Chinese, peaches and nectarines symbolise longevity and sons, and when coupled with clocks and watches, symbolise a peaceful and long life. Inspired by this, I made this refreshing peach pudding. If you're superstitious, you could place a small antique pocket watch alongside this dish and you'd wish the person you were serving a 'long and peaceful middle life' - 'Chong sheng pin an'.