Flummery is a sweet soft pudding made from stewed fruit and thickened with cornstarch. Traditional British flummeries were, like porridge, often oatmeal-based and cooked to achieve a smooth and gelatinous texture; sugar and milk were typically added, and occasionally orange flower water was used. Typically bland in nature, the dish gained stature in the 17th century where it was prepared in elaborate molds and served with applause from the dining audience. The word also came to generally mean dishes made with milk, eggs and flour in the late seventeenth and during the nineteenth centuries. A pint of flummery was suggested as an alternative to 4 ounces of bread and half a pint of new milk for the supper of sick inmates in Irish workhouses in the 1840s. Those no-good sick inmates – taking our jobs and stealing our flummeries.
I was recently up at Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary. We had the Australian Country Women’s Association cookbook with us, and it had a cracker of a flummery recipe in there. We took some gelatine (though not quite enough, so we did what all good country women do and improvised – orange jelly seemed to work well), fresh citrus juice, flour and some pureed raspberries, and blended them for 20 minutes. We set it in a tin in the fridge for a few hours, making a tin flummery. Then we gave it to Tim Flannery.