Immediately upon receiving Lauren's text, I began turning over the remaining recipes in my mind. It didn't take long to hit upon flummery (p201) as a suitable dessert to take. So what's flummery? Even if you don't recognise the name, you'll almost certainly recognise the dessert itself.
Flummery is a very easy dessert to make, but it needs a little time to set. Just to make sure it would have enough setting time, I popped home at lunchtime yesterday to get it ready.
I'd had a can of evaporated milk sitting in the fridge overnight, and I put it in the freezer for the last few minutes while I got everything else ready. It's important to have the evaporated milk quite cold. Meanwhile, I dissolved jelly crystals in boiling water then put it in the fridge to cool while I made myself some lunch.
After eating, I opened up the evaporated milk and got the electric beater into it. I was glad I'd used my biggest bowl (which I did only because the second-biggest one was in use for something else) when I saw how much the evaporated milk increased in volume. When it was very thick and fluffy, I poured in the cooled jelly mixture and beat it some more.
Is the two mixtures combined, the flummery turned a disturbingly artificial pink. I'd chosen boysenberry-flavoured jelly, in the hope that it would be less sickly-sweet than strawberry or raspberry. Well, it certainly didn't look any less sickly than strawberry!
The recipe made so much that I couldn't fit all the flummery in one serving dish. I split it across two, and contemplated taking only one to Lauren and Tom's. What would I do with the remainder, though? So I decided to take both. After all, there would be quite a few people to feed. I placed the two dishes in the fridge, got changed, (because I hadn't bothered with an apron, and consequently found myself covered in flummery splatters) and returned to work.
After work, I quickly threw together a berry garnish for the flummeries, mixing strawberries and blueberries, then briefly marinating them in orange juice and icing sugar before piling them atop the bowls of flummery. Berries are really past their best at this time of year, but they still looked better than plain bowls of pink flummery.
Tom's dinner went beautifully - everyone loves a good feed of spag bol, after all. It was fairly late before we got to the desserts, and a number of people had headed away already. There were till plenty of takers for the flummery and other assembled goodies, though. Everyone seemed to recognise the flummery, but while some knew it as 'jelly fluff' or similar, others never had a name for it.
Whatever you call it, it's an easy, tasty dessert, readily adaptable with the use of different flavours of jelly, added fruit or yoghurt. The real bonus is that it's so light and fluffy, you don't find yourself groaning at the thought of a dessert after a big meal. I think we all remember this one from when we were kids, but that doesn't mean it's not good for grown-ups too!