Lisa, Lisa, Lisa… Why are you posting the dessert right after the appetizer? What happened to the main course? Well, dear readers, many of us are asking ourselves what happened to the main course. It was a confusing time for everyone involved. And that is why we are going to skip to the dessert and revisit the main course later.
Our dessert actually did come from a cookbook, Mollie Katzen’s Vegetable Heaven. Neither Annette nor I had ever made pudding from scratch before, but we both like butterscotch and we both like pudding, so it didn’t seem like anything could go SO wrong. And it didn’t go so wrong, but I don’t know that it went entirely right…
It turns out pudding isn’t too tricky, it just involves a bunch of stirring and a lot of love.
Mollie’s recipe calls for:
2 cups milk
1 tbs butter (she says optional, I say go for it)
4 tbs light brown sugar
¾ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
3 to 4 tbs cornstarch
First step: Combine the milk, butter, 3tbs of brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium-small saucepan and put it over medium heat until the mixture is hot to the touch, but don’t let it boil.
The next step was my favorite, but also coincided with the camera running out of batteries, so we have no image through which to share the moment with you. So sad, so sad. But let’s get back to the process…
You put the cornstarch into another bowl, and pour about half of the milk mixture into it. Then you whisk it until the cornstarch is dissolved, and then pour it back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk mixture and return it to the heat. I know it doesn’t sound exciting, but trust me it changed my life.
Then you let the mixture come almost to a boil (are you picturing it? Sorry I have no visual aids…), whisking it frequently. The next step says, “lower the heat to simmer, and cook, whisking often, until it becomes thick and shiny. This will take about 5 minutes.” In real life, while I was “whisking it frequently” when I was letting it “come almost to a boil,” it started to become thick and shiny. So I turned down the heat and let it simmer, but by that point it was almost done and that phase only lasted about 2 minutes tops.
We were then instructed to “pour the pudding into a lovely serving bowl” (pour some pudding on meeee, in the name of love! Is that in your head too right now or do I think about Def Leppard too much?) and sprinkle the remaining brown sugar over the top. That is what you see here in an image made available by Annette’s heroic camera phone.
You then “let it cool to room temperature, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.” Then you put it in colored bowls and give it to your friends.
Now, let’s be honest. This looks disgusting. We all know it, so I’m just putting it out on the table so no one has to feel uncomfortable. The thing is, it was actually pretty tasty. All five pudding eaters complimented the chefs, but everyone agreed that it didn’t taste a darn thing like butterscotch. Though I guess we should have seen that coming since the butter was optional and all.
The verdict? Sure, it was okay. But I feel like Jell-o butterscotch pudding would taste better and be easier to make.