Pound in a marble or white-ware mortar a sufficient quantity of fresh spinach, till you have extracted as much green juice as will half fill a half-pint tumbler, or two common-sized wine-glasses. Mix this quantity of spinach juice with a quart of rich unskimmed milk, and a quarter of a pound of loaf-sugar, broken very small. Flavour it with a wine-glass of peach water, or with the yellow rind of two large lemons grated off on some of the largest lumps of the sugar. Or, for the flavouring, you may use a vanilla bean, or a handful of bitter almonds or peach-kernels, boiled a long time in half a pint of milk, which must then be strained, and mixed with the other milk. Beat very light eight eggs, or the yolks only of sixteen; mix them with the milk, etc, (having first strained the beaten eggs,) and having stirred the whole very hard, pour it into a white-ware pitcher, and set it into a pot rather more than half-full of boiling water. Place it on a stove or a bed of hot coals on the hearth, and stir it to the bottom, and watch it continually till it has almost come to a boil. When very near boiling, take it off the fire immediately; for if it quite boils, it will curdle. Set it away to get cold. When lukewarm it will be an improvement to stir into it two table-spoonfuls or more of rose-water. Cover the bottom of a large glass-bowl or a deep dish, with slices of sponge-cake or Naples biscuit. Then put on green sweetmeats, such as presented goose-berries, green gages, green grapes, or green citron melon. When the custard is quite cold pour it on, and fill up the bowl with it. If made as above, this will be found both delicious and ornamental for a dessert, or supper table.
It may be served up in glass cups; putting into the bottom of each cup a portion of sponge-cake, then a portion of green sweetmeats, and then filling up with the green custard after it has become cold.
Pistachio-nuts pounded in a mortar will give a fine green colour.
May be made according to the foregoing receipt, only colouring it red by adding a teacup-full of milk, in which has been steeped a small thin muslin bag filled with alkanet. Instead of green sweet-meat use preserved cherries, strawberries, or raspberries.
Alkanet is to be bought at the druggists, is very cheap, perfectly innoxious, and is now much used for colouring confectionary. The colour it imparts is more beautiful than any other red.
You may obtain a good red colouring by pounding boiled beets in a mortar. Pounded beet-leaves will also furnish a juice for colouring red.
Soak half an ounce of gelatine for three or four hours in a pan of cold water. Have ready a quart of milk. Boil in half a pint of it a bunch of peach-leaves, or a handful of bitter almonds broken up; also, a stick of cinnamon broken in pieces. When it is highly flavoured, strain this milk into the pan that contains the rest. Beat four eggs very light, and mix them gradually with the milk, adding, by degrees, the gelatine, (well drained,) and four heaping table-spoonfuls of sugar. Set it over a slow fire and boil it, stirring it frequently. As soon as the gelatine is entirely dissolved, and thoroughly mixed, the custard will be done. Transfer it to a deep dish or to cups, and set it on ice or in a cold place till wanted.
Boil a quart of milk'; and when it has come to a boil, stir into it, gradually, eight large table-spoonfuls of Indian meal; four large table-spoonfuls of powdered sugar; and a grated nutmeg. Stir it hard; letting it boil a quarter of an hour after all the Indian meal is in. Then take it up, and set it to cool. While cooling, beat eight eggs as light as possible, and stir them, gradually, into the batter when it is quite cold. Butter some large tea-cups; nearly fill them with the mixture; set them into a moderate oven; and bake them well.
Send them to table warm, and eat them with butter and molasses; or with butter, sugar, lemon-juice, and nutmeg stirred to a cream. They must be turned out of the cups.
Make a paste of half a pound of fresh butter, or finely minced suit, and a pound of flour, moistened with a very little cold water. Beat the lump of paste on all sides with a rolling-pin. Then roll it out into a sheet, and divide it into equal portions. Lay on the middle of each two halves (laid on each other) of preserved peaches, or quinces, or large preserved plums. Then close the paste round the sweetmeat, so as to form a dumpling. Have ready a pot of boiling water. Throw the dumplings into it, tied up in little cloths, and let them boil twenty-five minutes or half an hour. Try one first, to see if they are done. When quite done, take them up, dip them in cold water, turn them out of the cloths, and send the dumplings to table immediately. Eat them with sugar only, or with sweetened cream.
These dumplings may be made with jam or marmalade, formed into a heap or lump, and laid in the centre of each piece of paste.