The cake can be any shape, but if you make one slightly larger than your ice-cream block it is easier to manage. Set the cake on a fireproof dish and sprinkle it with rum. Prepare the meringue, making sure it is really stiff. Put the hard frozen block of ice cream on the cake and cover completely with the uncooked meringue. (Some people use a forcing bag for this.) Dust with caster sugar and put in a hot oven at 500° F., gas mark 9, for 2 or 3 minutes to set and colour the meringue. The plate can be stood in a tray of crushed ice while it is in the oven. Remove and serve immediately. A tablespoon of rum may be poured over the meringue when you remove the pudding from the oven; light it quickly and serve it flambé, but everything must be done very fast.
©1975 The Estate of Elizabeth Ayrton