Cranberry Casket Filled with Gold

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Cooking for Christmas

Cooking for Christmas

By Josceline Dimbleby

Published 1978

  • About

Here is a truly spectacular finale to a festive meal. The pudding looks like a fantasy; a bright scarlet, crumpled flower with ragged petals, holding in its open bud something creamy, yellow and tempting. The scarlet case is, in fact, a cranberry sorbet and it is filled with a mango, lemon and rum ice cream. You can make this well ahead and eat it straight from the freezer.


  • 9 oz (275 g) fresh cranberries
  • 5 oz (150 g) granulated sugar
  • juice of 2 oranges
  • 2 large egg whites (size 1-2)
  • 8 oz (250 g) demerara sugar
  • ¼ pint (150 ml) lemon juice
  • ½ pint (300 ml) whipping cream
  • 2 ripe mangoes
  • 3-4 tablespoons (3-4 x 15 ml spoons) rum


Put the cranberries into a saucepan with the granulated sugar and the orange juice. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and then cover and simmer for about 8 minutes until the cranberries are mushy. Now whizz this cranberry mixture to a purée in a food processor and leave it to cool.

When the purée is cold line a deep bowl (at least 3-pint (1.75-litre) capacity) with non-stick baking parchment, folding it so that it fits the shape of the bowl. The edges of the paper should come above the edge of the bowl; they will be uneven but this doesn’t matter. Spoon the cooled cranberry purée into the paper-lined bowl and, using a wide knife or spatula, smear it up the sides of the bowl, leaving an uneven edge. Put the bowl in the freezer for an hour or more. If you have too much mixture for your bowl, it’s nice to make a second, smaller casket in a smaller bowl, which you can put in the centre of the large one.

Make the mango ice cream. Whisk the egg whites until they stand in soft peaks. Put the demerara sugar into a deepish pouring saucepan with the lemon juice. Dissolve the sugar with the lemon juice, stirring over a low heat. When the sugar has dissolved bring it to the boil and let it bubble fiercely, without stirring, for 3 minutes. Pour the bubbling liquid in a thin stream on to the egg whites, whisking all the time at high speed. Continue whisking until the mixture is thick.

In another bowl, whisk the cream until thick but not too stiff. Fold the cream into the mixture with a metal spoon. Cut the mangoes in half (do this on a board in the sink as it can be messy) and cut and scrape as much flesh as you can off the stone and skin. Put the flesh in a food processor with the rum and whizz it to purée. Fold the purée gently but thoroughly into the cream and egg-white mixture. Take the cranberry bowl from the freezer, pour the mango mixture into it and then freeze again overnight.

Lift the frozen casket out of the metal bowl with the edge of the paper. Gently peel off all the paper and put your casket on a serving plate. Put it back in the freezer until you are ready to serve it.