This is my attempt at making French flummery, which, contrary to Mrs Glasse's suggestion (see below), I've garnished with pistachio nuts. I'd been making jellies and had somehow got side-tracked by Ivan Day's absolutely gorgeous website Historic Food. He says that flummery was originally a kind of jelly, made by steeping oatmeal overnight in water, and then boiling the strained liquor with sugar. I also heard him talking on a food podcast about flummery's connections with its Italian cousin, blancmange, and anyway, I was hooked.
I ended up making the one below from a recipe in Anne Chotzinoff Grossman and Lisa Grossman Thomas's Lobscouse & Spotted Dog, a book that charts the authors' attempts to research and replicate the dishes in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels! Check out their fantastic website for a table of contents and some photos of their results. However, I cheated where the recipe listed calf's foot jelly and used gelatine instead. The result was delicately flavoured and unbelievably rich - I can see why the recipe serves eight!
Another recipe for French flummery. From: Hannah Glasse, The Art of Cookery Made Plain And Easy (1747).
Take a quart of cream, and half an ounce of isinglass, beat it fine, and stir it into the cream. Let it boil softly over a slow fire a quarter of an hour, keep it stirring all the time; then take it off, sweeten it to your palate and put in a spoonful of rose water, and a spoonful of orange-flower water; strain it, and pour it into a glass or bason, or what you please, and when it is cold turn it out. It makes a fine side-dish. You may eat it with cream, wine, or what you please. Lay round it baked pears. It both looks very pretty and eats very fine.
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