Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vanilla Pudding {Honey Sweetened}

I love me a good pudding. To me it spells H-O-M-E. It's amazing how easy it is to make from scratch and so much tastier, but still most people buy the boxed stuff from the store. This pudding is a Healthy Family Cookin' original, adapted from the pudding that my Mom made for us growing up. So many variations are possible - chocolate, banana, coconut (I bet you could think of more), but I think my all time favorite is the original vanilla pudding. Make sure you're prepared with a real vanilla extract. No imitation stuff please. It will make all the difference in the taste.

We make this pudding A LOT. And each time - oh yum. I've adapted it to be honey sweetened so there is no processed sugar. We love to use it on top of a warm, honey-sweetened, whole-grain cake. Seriously it's melt-in-your mouth delicious without leaving you with the after affects that comes with processed sugar. I know you'll love it to.

Vanilla Pudding {Honey Sweetened}
Printable Recipe

*Makes 3 servings

2 Cups Milk or Half n' Half (or use 1 Cup Whipping Cream and 1 Cup Milk)*See Note
1/4 tsp. salt
3-5 Tbsp. Flour
1/4 Cup honey
1 egg
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Measure the milk into a glass measuring cup and whisk the flour and salt briskly into the cold milk. Whisk until mixture is thoroughly combined (this will prevent lumping). Use less flour (3 Tbsp.) for a fairly runny pudding. Use more flour (4-5 Tbsp.) for a thicker pudding. I actually love it both ways, it's just up to your own preference.

Once mixture is combined, pour into a medium, heavy duty sauce pan. Add 1/4 Cup honey and heat over medium to medium-low heat, until milk is warm (not boiling) and it starts to thicken. Whisk occasionally at the beginning and more often as the mixture starts to thicken. This also will prevent lumping.

When mixture thickens (if you only used 3 Tbsp. of flour the thickening will be very subtle at this point) add 1 egg and immediately whisk briskly until egg combines with milk mixture. The quicker you whisk it in, the less egg-white strings you will get. If you're opposed to the strings all together you could experiment with using just an egg yoke, but I've never been quite that picky. Allow egg to cook (while still whisking) for a couple of minutes until the pudding custardizes slightly (My spell checker tells me that custardizes is not a word, but I'm using it to mean "tastes custard-y").

At this point you can take the pudding off of the burner and while still whisking add 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 tsp. vanilla. You can strain the pudding through a fine mesh strainer after it is cooked to remove any lumps if you want or skip this step if it fairly smooth. Pour into serving dishes and allow to cool slightly before serving. You can also cool it completely and serve at room temperature or refrigerate it and serve chilled. Either way it is delicious. If you are making this ahead of time and serving it chilled, I recommend using only 3 Tbsp. of flour as the pudding does thicken even more in the refrigerator.

*Note: As I mentioned, we've made this recipe dozens of times and love all the variations. Of course the whipping cream and milk option is my favorite. But often all we have is regular milk and it's still amazing. You could try it with other kinds of milk too, almond, coconut etc. Let me know if you do. I'd love to hear how they turn out, as I've never tried them.

Chocolate: Add 3 tsp. cocoa or a square of dark chocolate
Banana: Add slices of a ripe, sweet banana to each serving dish before pudding
Coconut: Fold in 1/2 Cup shredded coconut when finished

Recipe Source: healthyfamilycookin.blogspot.com adapted from a recipe from my Mom

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