Friday, 2 November 2012

It’s a Retro Cookoff ! Desserts.

Apricot Nectar is the dessert that my mother Moira loved to create when entertaining guests in the '60s and '70s, complete with the Crème de Menthe cream. So last night we relived the old days and made it once again. Unfortunately we couldn’t buy any Crème de Menthe (which I think deserves a comeback). We made do with a tad of food colouring! (A little food colouring goes a long way!) I have included a photo of Mum’s recipe as it tells its own story! We enjoyed the memories together, Anne.

Moira’s Apricot Nectar
Apricot Nectar:
1 tin evaporated milk, 3 level dstspns gelatine, 2 tblspns hot water, 3 tblspns lemon juice, 1 ¼ cups apricot nectar, 2 rounded tblspns sugar.
Method: Put evaporated milk in fridge and freeze until beginning to set. Dissolve gelatine in hot water, add lemon juice. Empty evaporated milk into large bowl. Beat while gradually adding gelatine mixture, add apricot nectar and sugar. Beat until thick and doubled in volume. Empty into wet mould chill in fridge until quite set. Turn out mould or spoon into mould on plate. Decorate with prepared cream and extra mint leaves and apricot halves.
Minted Cream:
½ pint cream, little sugar to taste, Crème de Menthe, 2 large mint stalks, extra mint leaves, apricot halves.
Method: Empty cream into bowl. Wash and pat mint dry. Crush in hands, breaking leaves, add to cream, mix in. Cover and refrigerate all day. When required remove mint, lightly scraping cream from leaves with fingers (Don’t lick!) Add a dstspn Crème de Menthe to cream, little sugar if liked. Beat until thick.

These next two desserts are from Ruby Borrowdale’s “Golden Circle Tropical Recipe” book which I choose for their sheer decorative potential and hey, how pretty are these! Anne.

Whispering Shells.
Spoon Golden Circle Crushed Pineapple into a shallow round dish. Place a large strawberry ice cream scoop in centre and surround with button meringues to resemble shells. Dust over with green tinted coconut and top the ice cream with a cherry.                                                                                               

Meringues: 2 egg whites and ½ cup sugar makes approx. 24 meringues.

Pineapple Paradise.
440g can Golden Circle Crushed Pineapple, 1 layer 20cm sponge cake (with the brown crust removed to ensure an even colour to the finished dish), 1 level tblsp gelatine, 1/3 cup cold water, ½ cup desiccated coconut, ½ packet chopped white marshmallows. NOTE: if your family or guests like a really sweet dish, you can also add ¼ cup sugar and 2 ripe passionfruit.
Soak gelatine in water. Bring contents Golden Circle can to boil, sweetened if desired. Remove from stove. Immediately add soaked gelatine, stirring till dissolved. Break cake in pieces into large mixing bowl. Stir in marshmallows, coconut (and passionfruit). Add cooked pineapple mixture and blend. Spoon into mould and chill till firm.
Ann's Aunty Flora’s Chocolate Pudding.
·         Sift 1 cup SR flour, pinch salt, ¾ cup sugar and 1 Tablespoon cocoa.
·         Add ½ cup milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 Tablespoons melted butter.
·         Mix until smooth and pour into greased dish.
·         For topping, mix together 3 Tablespoons sugar and 1 Tablespoon cocoa, sprinkle on top of mixture in dish.
·         Pour over all 2 cups hot water, completely covering the whole pudding.
·         Bake in moderate oven about 50 minutes.
Click  here                                                                                                        
for links to some more wonderful Retro Recipes!


  1. These are wonderful, Anne. Green-tinted coconut! It's strange how minty flavours have disappeared from fruity desserts - so many recipes in my collection have creme de menthe in them with all sorts of things you wouldn't think would go together. (Also curacao - that was wildly popular in cooking once). I remember a road trip with my parents and their friends in the 1970s where we kids got to go on a pub crawl (innocent days!) and the adults had Grasshopper cocktails (creme de menthe, creme de cacao and cream), which I thought the height of sophistication! I've posted my Retro Meal at

  2. BTW, Anne there's a link on Kylie's/Donna's pages for everyone to add themselves in.

  3. Hi Anne,

    not only are you a Pineapple Princess you are also a Dessert Queen!

    Thanks for joining in, please don't forget to add your link to our blogs so others can see what you've whipped up. I know they'll all love what you've done. I do.

    Whispering Shells is pretty, gorgeous in fact. Pineapple Paradise certainly lives up to its name, and I think it's lovely you included one of your Mum's recipes. I will def give them all a whirl in the Kylie O Test Kitchen!

    Btw, you have proved that not all retro recipes are revolting (only most of them are! Ha!)

    p.s. I think it's a crime you can't buy Creme de Menthe. What's the world coming to?!

  4. I love the look of Moira’s Apricot Nectar. Not revolting at all. I like how your recipe note is all loved up to death. The handwriting is similar to my Grandmothers. My recipe has a card that sort of looks like this too.

  5. Hi there! Your desserts look so great! I would happily eat all of them! I have an old family choc pudding recipe almost identical to yours of my mums which I now make. You can't beat a self saucing pudding!! Are you happy for me to add your link over on my blog too?
    (Ps I also love the 'loved' family recipe. Sign of a well loved, tasty dish!)

    1. Hi Donna,
      Yes please add the link - I'm looking forward to spending some time pouring over all the recipes - 'though I'm not sure I'll be trying them all!! Cheers, Anne