Nov 1, 2015

HOLIDAY PUDDINGS

Nothing beats the sweet taste of a creamy pudding. Whether it's a tropical liliko'i brûlée, old fashioned banana pudding, or a double chocolate pudding, you always know that it will be a crowd pleaser no matter whether you are young or old. With the Holidays coming up, consider one of these recipes as a gesture of Aloha.




Pumpkin Pie Pudding
Straight from Aunties kitchen, pumpkin pudding with sweetened whipped cream, sprinkled with toasted coconut. Simple and delicious, kind of like pumpkin pie in a ramekin.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Ingredients for whipped cream & coconut topping:
4 tablespoons toasted sweetened coconut flakes, for garnish
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Procedure:
In a medium saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in milk and vanilla, followed by egg. Whisk until fully combined. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbles form in the center of the pan. Reduce heat to low, cook one minute more. Remove from heat. 

Pour through a mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Use a spoon to press mixture through the strainer.

Whisk together with pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice.

Divide among serving dishes. Press plastic wrap into the surface of the pudding and chill for several hours before serving.

When ready to serve, whip cream until almost stiff. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until cream holds peaks.

Put sweetened coconut flakes in a small skillet and toast over a burner over medium low heat until just browned. Let cool.

Remove the plastic wrap from the top of the pumpkin pudding and spoon sweetened whipped cream on the top, sprinkled with toasted coconut. Makes 4 servings.


Liliko'i Créme Brûlée
Liliko'i is the Hawaiian word for passion fruit. If you live on the Mainland you may have trouble finding this tropical fruit, but if you live in Hawaii, you can find it everywhere, and it's wonderful added to a Créme Brûlée.

Ingredients:
4 large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for brûlée topping
1/4 cup liliko'i juice (from 4-5 fresh lilikoi fruit)
2 cups heavy cream

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 325˚F. Arrange five 6-ounce ramekins (or equivalent) in a baking dish. Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil (this will be used for the water bath later).

In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until lightened in color. Whisk in lilikoi juice.

Heat cream in a small saucepan until it starts to steam. Gradually pour warm cream into bowl with egg yolks, 1/4 cup at a time, whisking vigorously, until incorporated. Skim off foam. Pour into ramekins. Arrange ramekins in a baking pan and place pan on oven rack. Carefully pour in just enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Divide cream mixture among ramekins. Gently place baking pan with ramekins in oven, then carefully pour hot water into the baking pan around ramekins, taking care not to get any water in the custard. It is helpful to use a spouted kettle or pitcher to more easily pour the water into the pan.

Bake for 30 to 33 minutes or until just set. Remove from water bath and allow to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Just before serving, sprinkle a generous tablespoon of sugar evenly over the top of each ramekin. Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar, moving torch evenly across the tops of the custards to keep the sugar from burning. Alternatively, you place the custards on the top rack of a broiler set to high, and broil until sugar is golden brown and caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately. Makes 5 servings.


Old Fashioned Banana Pudding
I grew up with this recipe, way before Jello put it in a box. There's something about this combination of sweet ripe bananas, vanilla wafers, and pudding covered with a fluffy crown of toasted meringue, that makes this pudding a classic dessert.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
4 or 5 ripe bananas, sliced thin (cover with plastic wrap or sprinkle with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown)
1 box vanilla wafers
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter (not margarine)
4 egg yolks (large eggs)

Ingredients for Meringue:
5 egg whites, room temperature
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of a 9×9-inch pan with a layer of vanilla wafers. Combine sugar, flour and salt in a bowl, and mix well. Set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, beat the egg yolks well. Over medium heat, add the flour mixture to the egg yolks, alternately with the milk and vanilla, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil and, when the mixture begins to thicken, add the butter, continuing to stir. Keep boiling and stirring until mixture reaches a nice pudding consistency. Make sure you don’t scorch the pudding. Remove from heat.

Place a layer of banana slices on top of the vanilla wafers. Pour half of the pudding over the banana layer. Put down another layer of vanilla wafers, another layer of banana slices, and cover with the remaining pudding.

Beat the egg whites at high speed until they form soft peaks. Add the cream of tartar. At high speed, gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the vanilla into the meringue, and spread the meringue over the pudding, sealing it at the sides of the dish. Bake until meringue browns, 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 8 servings.


Double Chocolate Pudding
Chocolate is something that I can't resist, but when you double it in a pudding, watch out!

Ingredients:
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for whipped cream topping:
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 teaspoons confectioner's sugar

Procedure:
Whisk sugars, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl until smooth. Heat remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk in a saucepan over medium heat until steaming. Whisk in chocolate mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in semi-sweet chocolate, and vanilla.

Spoon into individual bowls and chill.

To make the whipped cream topping, combine cream, vanilla extract and sugar in a bowl. Whip until peaks form. Top chilled pudding with whipped cream and serve. Makes 2 cups.


Butterscotch Pudding
What's not to like about Butterscotch Pudding. Its golden color and the rich flavor of burnt sugar leads to a sophisticated festive holiday dessert.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk

4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
2 tablespoons Scotch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 bananas, sliced
Whipped cream
1/2 cup English toffee bits

Procedure:
Stir 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until syrup turns deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan. Remove from heat. Add cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir until smooth. Set caramel sauce aside.

Mix brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk. Stir over medium-low heat until mixture thickens and boils, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in caramel sauce.

Whisk egg yolks in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk 1 cup warm caramel mixture into yolks. Gradually whisk yolk mixture back into caramel mixture in saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Gradually whisk in butter, Scotch, and vanilla.

Divide pudding among 8 parfait glasses. Chill until cold, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day. Top puddings with banana slices, whipped cream, and toffee bits. Makes 8 servings.


Meyer Lemon Rice Pudding
Meyer lemons are commonly grown here on Moloka'i. This recipe for lemon rice pudding uses Meyer lemons because the rind has more flavor than regular lemons. The Meyer lemon is native to China and is a cross between a lemon and mandarin orange. If you can't find Meyer lemons, a regular lemon will still work.

Ingredients:
1 medium lemon, preferably Meyer lemon
1/4 cup jasmine rice
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup 2% milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Procedure:
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Peel the lemon with a vegetable peeler, being careful not to take any of the white pith away with the rind. Cut the peel into fine strips. Mix the peel with the rice, sugar, and salt in a 9-inch pie dish. Stir in the milk and cream.

Bake uncovered for about 2 hours, stirring every 30 to 45 minutes. As the milk reduces, it will form a thin layer on top of the pudding; simply break this up and stir it in.

Final baking time will depend on your oven, the pie dish, and how thick you prefer your rice pudding. When ready, the rice will be completely cooked and tender but the pudding will still be soupy and thin. As it cools, however, it will firm up considerably. Eat hot, warm, or cold. Makes 4, 1/2 cup servings.


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