Scott and I had our neighbors over for dinner about 2 weeks ago after they returned from their European adventures. It was one of those nights when I got home much later than anticipated, and hence needed to make a dessert that was not only easy, but fast. I didn't have time to look through recipes before coming home, so I opened my fridge, pulled wide the doors of my pantry, and searched for inspiring ingredients. Might I note that Scott and I keep a VERY empty refrigerator. Always have. And for some reason I am still surprised when I swing wide that heavy white door expecting to see the works of Whole Foods within its drawers, only to find....
1 bottle of pomegranate soda that has been there since November
cheese, with some strange yellow crust developing on the edges
1/2 stick of butter
I managed to find basic baking ingredients in my pantry: vanilla, sugar, salt, corn starch.
And what do you get when you combine milk, vanilla, corn starch, and egg? Pudding.
Yes... pudding would be perfect! We were having a spicy and flavorful red kidney bean curry, so pudding would be the ideal dessert pairing. It's light. It's creamy. It's subtle. The flavors of the pudding would not battle the flavors of the curry. Yes. Pudding.
My 2nd most trusted recipe collection (the 1st would be my mother's recipe book, duh) is Smitten Kitchen. I have made over a dozen of this woman's recipes and NONE, and I mean NONE, of them have disappointed. I crossed my fingers in hopes that she had made pudding before, typed the words "vanilla pudding" into the search, and what is the first recipe listed but "vanilla bean pudding". Score.
Now, I did not go to the store and buy vanilla beans, because remember, I was pressed for time. Thankfully, Smitten Kitchen is very thorough and includes things in her recipes like "if you don't have vanilla beans, or you don't have access to a grocer that sells them, just substitute with regular vanilla extract". Thank you, Smitten Kitchen, you answered my only question.
Though vanilla pudding sounded wonderful, I thought that adding a raspberry sauce over top would seal the deal.
What you need
2 2/3 cup of whole milk
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
For raspberry sauce:
1 cup fresh raspberries
1/3 cup of sugar
What to do
Bring 2 cups of the milk to a boil in a saucepan
While the milk is heating, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heat-proof bowl
Gradually whisk in the remaining 2/3 of milk to the dry ingredients, making sure that lumps do not form
Whisk in the egg
Once the milk is boiling, slowly add it to the cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly
Return the mixture back to the saucepan, stirring constantly
Once it comes to a simmer, cook for one more minute, stirring constantly
Stir in the vanilla extract
Divide mixture among individual serving cups, or pour it into a large bowl
Chill for at least 1 hour
For raspberry sauce:
Using the same saucepan as the pudding, pour the raspberries and sugar into the pan and heat over medium heat
Using a spoon, stir and mash the berry/sugar mixture until it forms a thick, juicy syrup (about 10 minutes)
Remove from the heat and pour into a tightly woven mesh strainer placed over a bowl
Using a spoon, squish the syrup through the strainer. This will remove the raspberry seeds and pulp, leaving you with a nice, rich syrup
Once the pudding has chilled, drizzle the raspberry syrup over top and serve!