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Ching-He Huang's longevity peach pudding

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Peach pudding
Peach pudding
  • Serves: 2

  • Cooking time:

    chilling time)

In China, peaches symbolise long life, seen in Empress Cixi's peach-laden palace, inspiring Ching to create this pud.

Ingredients

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

Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Ladle the mixture into four serving bowls, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. 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.
  5. 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'.

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