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History Cookbook: Almond Leach/Leech, a kind of Milk Jelly

This recipe is in categories Tudors, Desserts, Party food
About this recipe
Healthiness : (173 votes)
Difficulty:  2 out of 5 difficulty
Comments: This modern version is quite straight forward as the 2 jellies are made on top of each other in the same glass.
Preparation Time: This is a lengthy dish to prepare as each part needs to set before continuing. Making the jelly only takes 15-20 minutes altogether but the layers need to set overnight.
Cooking Time: Warming the milk and wine
Number of servings: 4 small glasses
Serving suggestions: Serve cold at the end of a meal. Delicious with spiced apple juice.

This pudding is a little like a blancmange. There are milk versions but this one was a dish for Lent when the Tudors would not use milk. Almond milk was used during Lent instead.This is a high table dish for a gentry family and is served attractively. It is time consuming to make requiring setting time and a swift hand when turning out.The top half of the leach is coloured with red wine.

This period recipe explains how to make Almond Leach (Leech).

Take a quart of almond milk and three ounces of gelatine, half a pond of beaten sugar; stir them together. Let it  be thick. Then strain it with three spoonfuls of rosewater. Then put it into a platter and let it cool, and cut it in squares. Lay it fair in dishes, and lay gold upon it.

Note: you can use any milk to make this pudding if you do not wish to use nuts.

For the Milk Jelly:
  • 1 pint full fat milk ( or Almond Milk- see recipe)
  • 2-3 leaves of gelatine
  • 2 oz sugar

For the Almond Milk, if you want to try making it:

  •  250g almonds/2 tablespoon rice flour moistened with 550ml water

For the Wine Jelly:

  •  1/4 pint wine ( or grape juice)
  •  1 leaf of gelatine
  •  5-6 rose petals or a little rose water

To decorate:

  • a few raspberries or redcurrants
  • Weighing scales
  • Measuring jug
  • Sieve
  • Tablespoon
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Knife
  • Spoon
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

To make Almond Milk: (Note: You need to make this the day before)

  • Roughly 250g almonds/2 tablespoon rice flour moistened with 550ml water, is about the right proportions to end up with 1 pint of almond milk.
  • Cover the ground almonds with the boiling water, stand for 15 mins, rub through sieve/ cloth. Straining trough a cloth produces a smoother milk. If it is a bit thin- add rice flour and warm in a pan until it thickens.Cool and put in the fridge overnight. Almond milk goes off very quickly

To make the Leach:

Milk Jelly:

  1. Make the milk jelly first:
  2. Soak the gelatine leaves in water
  3. Warm the milk/ Almond milk ( do not boil)
  4. Add the gelatine and stir until disolved
  5. Pour into glasses and set overnight ( Putting it in the fridge helps)

Wine Jelly:

  1. Soak the gelatine leaf
  2. Warm the wine
  3. Disolve the gelatine in the wine
  4. Chop and add the rose petals or a teaspoon of rosewater 
  5. Leave to go cold
  6. Spoon the cold wine mixture onto the set milk pudding and return to the fridge to set
  7. Once both parts are set, decorate with a few raspberries and serve
Almond Leach/Leech, a kind of Milk Jelly - print view  Almond Leach/Leech, a kind of Milk Jelly - print view

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Name: Jaqui 21st November 2017
Name: Abbie 26th November 2016
Helps a lot with homework
Name: Kiki 21st November 2015
Thanks for helping me with my homework
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