Many people have less than fond memories of Carrageen Moss, partly because so many recipes call for far too much carrageen. It is a very strong natural gelatine so the trick is to use little enough. Because it is so light it is difficult to weigh, we use just enough to fit in my closed fist, a scant 8g (1/4oz). 
This recipe given to me by Myrtle Allen is by far the most delicious I know.  Carrageen Moss is served at Ballymaloe House at least once a week.
Serves 6
  • 8g (1/4oz) cleaned, well dried carrageen moss (1 semi-closed fistful)
  • 900ml (1 1/2 pints/3 3/4 cups) milk
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, preferably free-range
  • 1 tablespoon (1 American tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) caster sugar
To Serve:
soft brown sugar and cream
or poached seasonal fruit
Soak the carrageen in tepid water for 10 minutes. Strain off the water and put the carrageen into a saucepan with the milk and vanilla pod, if using. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently with the lid on for 20 minutes. At that point, and not before, separate the egg and put the yolk into a bowl. Add the sugar and vanilla extract (if you are using it) and whisk together for a few seconds. Pour the milk and carrageen through a strainer on to the egg yolk mixture, whisking all the time. The carrageen will now be swollen and exuding jelly. Rub all this jelly through the strainer and beat it into the liquid. Test for a set in a cold saucer: put it in the fridge and it should set in a couple of minutes. Rub a little more through the strainer if necessary. Whisk the egg white until stiff peaks form and fold it in gently; it will rise to make a fluffy top. Leave to cool.
Serve chilled with soft brown sugar and cream, or with a poached fruit compote in season.
Recipe Image:
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