Do you day dream about nostalgic foods from your past? I do!

During the past 2 weeks I have had a stream of house guests, including two sets of cousins visiting from the UK. As we are a family of food lovers, when planning some menus my thoughts floated back to my Mother’s kitchen. I had a sudden craving for a dessert she made in the summer, Pineapple Fluff!

What on earth is this?

I call it ‘fluff’ as it really is the fluffiest, lightest mousse-like dessert that you will enjoy. I’m not sure why I don’t make it more often as it is a perfect light dessert. It is pretty foolproof!

This dessert has 3 ingredients, evapourated milk, jelly and fruit.

It was always a favourite when we were kids. We seldom saw a fresh pineapple on the Karroo farm, so this was one of the few tinned fruits that we enjoyed. The grocery cupboard was also always stocked with a few packets of jelly and a couple of cans of evapourated milk specifically for these treats.

Evapourated milk has a unique property of foaming when whisked. To achieve greater volume and a more stable foam the trick is to ensure that the can of milk is cold. Best refrigerated for at least a day ahead of time.

For a can of evapourated milk you need 2X 80g packets of flavoured jelly. Back in the day, I am sure the packets of jelly were larger as I recall only one being used. I am sure my Mom used lemon jelly for all yellow fruits. I was amazed to find pineapple flavoured jelly that had a very good flavour. Once you have decided on the fruit flavour you are using, try to find the matching jelly!

For the fruit you need about 400g or 375ml (1 ½  cups) crushed fruit. A can of crushed pineapple works perfectly. If you are using any other canned fruit you will need to drain away at least half of the syrup and chop the remaining fruit fairly finely to be suspended in the mousse. Fresh or preserved granadilla works perfectly.

Fruits to avoid

Some fruits, including raw pineapple contain an enzyme that ‘digests’ the protein of the gelatine and the jelly will not set. Cooking or heating the fruits destroys the enzyme, hence the use of tinned pineapple. Other fruits in this category include paw paw or papino and kiwi fruit.

You need an electric food whisk for the job!

Unless you have endless energy you need an electric whisk as you have to whisk both the milk and the jelly separately and both of these take a little time.

It makes a large quantity. I serve 10 portions from this recipe. If you have smaller family don’t fear, they will eat it all.

I finished this dessert with pineapple crisps. Easy to make and impressive. It is described at the end of the recipe.

It is an excellent light dessert after a rich meal.

Recipe: Pineapple fluff and crisps