I guess it would be safe to say I am a fan of “velvety” food items. By velvety I mean any food with a creamy texture. These foods would include things like soups, ice creams, mashed potatoes, purees, custards, yogurts, sauces, and of course my number one velvety food, pudding.
Pudding has long been a favorite food of mine and I will jump at any chance to indulge in it. I am not particular or steadfast on the flavor of pudding. It can be vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, banana, butterscotch, tapioca, coconut or even rice pudding.
And my love of pudding does not have any national boundaries as I love figgy pudding, bread pudding, flan, keşkül, kheer, panna cotta, and sütlaç. I have even found that my favorite desserts include some sort of pudding, like layered crepe cake, profiterole, Boston creme pie, eclair, prinsesstårta, crème brûlée, and my top favorite, since I was a kid, pudding laced dessert, mille-feuille pastry (aka the Napoleon).
Yes I think it is safe to say that I have not yet met a pudding I did not like. Though, to date, I have not tried blood pudding (I still consider it a sausage and not a pudding but that is a whole other blog post topic). But who knows, if I tried it, I could be a fan of blood sausage as well!
Pudding is a relativity easy dessert to make. It only requires a couple of ingredients. I can understand why some shy away from making homemade pudding though. I understand why the baking aisle in the grocery store is well stocked with an array of instant and ready cook pudding packets. Yes upon reading the instructions of a homemade pudding recipe it is easy to see why one would resort to packaged pudding.
I can assure you that after making pudding for so many years I have learned a couple of things. The first is that homemade pudding can be easier and involve less steps then the traditional pudding recipes out there. Traditional pudding recipes require the milk to first be scorched, the egg yolks to be tempered and the final mixture to be strained. While these techniques do work, they are not necessary. I have found that literally dumping all the of ingredients together and then heating them to a boil turns out a comparable pudding.
For this post I have included two pudding versions, cooked and instant. When making pudding I tend to make the cooked version as I find it easy and tasty. The instant version is quicker and just as tasty. Though since it does not have eggs in the recipe, it seems to be lacking that traditional pudding taste. It is still amazingly good, just a different taste profile.
No Fuss Vanilla Pudding – Cooked version
2 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar* (I prefer pure cane sugar)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 egg yolks (beaten)
Pinch of salt
Mix 2 cups of the whole milk, sugar, vanilla extract, egg yolks and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine. In a small bowl mix the remaining milk (1/2 cup) with the cornstarch. Whisk together until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the milk/starch mixture into the milk/egg mixture. Heat the mixture over medium/high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, while stirring constantly. Once the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium/low and mix until it has reached a pudding like consistency (about 5 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and pour into a bowl. The pudding can be eaten once it has cooled slightly or it is can be chilled in the refrigerator. To prevent a film from forming on top of the pudding, place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding.
No Fuss Vanilla Pudding – Instant Version
1/3 cup instant dry milk
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar* (I prefer pure cane sugar)
1/3 cup Instant Clear Jel (I prefer King Arthur’s Clear Jel)
Dash of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Combine instant milk, sugar, instant clear jel and salt. Add whole milk and vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix well. Pudding can be served immediately or stored in the refrigerator for later.
*For a sugar free version, stevia can be substituted for the sugar. For this recipe only a dash of stevia is needed. Note, the final consistency of the pudding might be slightly less velvety then if sugar were used.