Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Homemade Pudding

This is a great substitute for "instant" vanilla (or chocolate or butterscotch) pudding. The texture is similar, the taste is better, and the ingredients are all good for you (well, the ingredients are all "real" ingredients*). It doesn't take too long to make, but it does have to chill thoroughly and, since you're heating the milk when you cook it, it will take a while to chill. Make it right after breakfast, while you're finishing up the breakfast dishes, and it will be ready by dinner.

Ingredients from How to Cook Everything, 10th edition; method my mother's (you can add 3 eggs after it starts to thicken if you want "real" pudding--temper the eggs with a bit of the hot milk mixture first)

  • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
  • 3 T. cornstarch
  • pinch salt
  • 2/3 c. sugar (brown if you want butterscotch)
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 T. butter, optional
  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine, if you want chocolate pudding
  1. Combine 2 cups milk, sugar, salt in microwave safe bowl. Microwave at 80% power for 2 minutes or so and stir. Milk should be hot. 
  2. Combine cornstarch with remaining milk and stir until there are no lumps. Add this to the hot milk mixture and microwave at 80% until thickened (stir every minute). Mixture will look like a thin cream sauce and coat a spoon; it will thicken more as it chills. Stir in vanilla (and chocolate if using).
  3. Pour into 1-quart dish or 4-6 ramekins. Cover with saran wrap unless you don't mind a "skin" forming on the pudding.
  4. Chill thoroughly.
Serves 4-6

*In case you're curious, here are the ingredients on a box of sugar-free, instant butterscotch pudding: modified corn starch, tapioca dextrin, artificial flavor, sodium phosphate, nonfat milk, caramel color. Contains less than 2% of the following: salt, titanium dioxide (for color?), microcrystalline celluluse, aspartame, mono- and diglycerides, acesulfame potassium, xanthan gum, soy lecithin, yellow 6 and 5.

Compare to non-sugar-free, homemade butterscotch: whole milk, brown sugar (sugar, molasses), cornstarch, vanilla, salt. (Butter is optional; it would fall after the cornstarch in this line up). 

1 comment:

Brandislee said...

I posted that popover recipe on my blog. Love yours, by the way. I need all the inspiration I can get!