Medieval Monday – Almond Leach

A dessert recipe from the Tudor era found on CookIt!
Medieval Monday - Almond Leach

Leach is a kind of milk jelly a little like a blancmange. There are milk versions but this one was a dish for Lent when the Tudors would not use milk. Almond milk was used during Lent instead.This is a high table dish for a gentry family and is served attractively. It is time consuming to make requiring setting time and a swift hand when turning out.The top half of the leach is coloured with red wine.

This period recipe explains how to make Almond Leach (Leech).

Take a quart of almond milk and three ounces of gelatine, half a pond of beaten sugar; stir them together. Let it  be thick. Then strain it with three spoonfuls of rosewater. Then put it into a platter and let it cool, and cut it in squares. Lay it fair in dishes, and lay gold upon it.

Note: you can use any milk to make this pudding if you do not wish to use nuts.

For the Milk Jelly:

1 pint full fat milk ( or Almond Milk- see recipe)
2-3 leaves of gelatine
2 oz sugar
For the Almond Milk, if you want to try making it:
250 g almonds/2 tablespoon rice flour moistened with 550ml water
For the Wine Jelly:
1/4 pint wine ( or grape juice)
1 leaf of gelatine
5-6 rose petals or a little rose water
To decorate:
a few raspberries or redcurrants


Make Almond Milk: (Note: You need to make this the day before) 250 g almonds, roughly grated and 2 tablespoon rice flour moistened with 550 ml water, is about the right proportions to end up with 1 pint of almond milk.

Cover the ground almonds with the boiling water, stand for 15 mins, rub through sieve/ cloth. Straining trough a cloth produces a smoother milk. If it is a bit thin- add rice flour and warm in a pan until it thickens.Cool and put in the fridge overnight. Almond milk goes off very quickly

Make the Leach

Make the milk jelly first:

Soak the gelatine leaves in water. Warm the milk/ Almond milk ( do not boil). Add the gelatine and stir until disolved.

Pour into glasses and leave to set overnight (Putting it in the fridge helps).

Then make the wine jelly:

Soak the gelatine leaf. Warm the wine. Disolve the gelatine in the wine.

Chop and add the rose petals or a teaspoon of rosewater. Leave to get cold.

Spoon the cold wine mixture onto the set milk pudding and return to the fridge to set.

Once both parts are set, decorate with a few raspberries/redcurrants and serve.