Carrageen moss, a brownish black or dark green seaweed, rich in iron and other minerals, grows abundantly on the rocks at low tide. Pick in early summer and bleach in the sun. Wash in plenty of cold water and lay out to dry again. When white and well dried, bring indoors and use in this lovely recipe. Carrageen can also be bought from health food shops.
Soak the carrageen in tepid water for 10 minutes. Put in a saucepan with milk and the vanilla pod if using. Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 20 minutes. Pour through a strainer into a mixing bowl. The carrageen will now be swollen and exuding jelly. Rub all this jelly through the strainer and beat it into the milk with the sugar, egg yolk and vanilla essence, if using. Test for a set on a saucer, as with gelatine. Whisk the egg white stiffly and fold it gently into the mixture. It will rise to make a fluffy top. Serve chilled.
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