If using fresh cherries, stone them and put in a small saucepan with a sprinkling of sugar and heat slowly. Cook on a low heat until the cherries are soft and the juice begins to run.
In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and baking powder together. Make a well and drop the eggs into it. Stir to combine, don’t worry if it looks lumpy.
Gradually beat in the milk until the batter is smooth.
Transfer to the flat glass or china baking dish.
Melt the butter and pour this over the flour & sugar mixture, but do not stir it.
On top of this pour the canned or fresh cherries.
Bake in the oven for an hour, until the sponge feels firm to the touch and there is shrinkage at the sides.
Serve warm with thick cream.
This cocktail brings to mind my grandmother Nancy Lancaster, holding out her arms to us and reciting: ‘Come into my arms, you bundle of charms, And let me with enthusiasm, squeeze you to my boosiasm.’ As with all the cocktail recipes brought over from Mirador, this was was extremely potent, and its provenance dates back to the late 1800s. The slightly inappropriate name may have something to do with the fact that these were served with the dessert or pudding course, and something that the ladies – who didn’t otherwise drink alcohol – could partake in. Perhaps the gentlemen present were hoping this might propel all the ladies into their arms….who knows?
Yolk of one egg
½ wine glass Curacoa
½ wine glass Brandy
1 wine glass good Madeira or good sherry
Roughly crushed ice
1 cocktail shaker
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Fill the cocktail shaker with the crushed ice, pour over all the ingredients.
Shake well, pour into a pre-chilled glass and serve very cold.
Entertaining Lives, The Nancy Astor and Nancy Lancaster Cookbook, £40, Published by Clearview Books