Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ginger Pudding...

While vanilla, chocolate or butterscotch puddings are fairly common, we thought it would be fun to infuse a sweet heat into the pudding I made for us to snack on this weekend.

To prepare this Ginger Pudding this morning, I finely diced a few rounds of crystallized ginger and tossed the pieces into a pot that was filled with milk. We brought the milk up to a simmer (be sure to stir often!) and then took it off the heat to hang out, giving the ginger time to work and the milk time to cool down slightly.

We need to impart some richness and power to thicken the pudding, so we whisked together a bit more milk with granulated sugar, potato starch (yes, cornstarch would be fine) and three golden egg yolks. You'll also want to add a pinch of salt - besides highlighting the flavor points, the salt also works to balance and calm the sugar so it doesn't come across as being too sweet. Instead of dumping this into the hot milk and risk curdling those delicate yolks, a portion of the ginger-infused mixture is instead slowly whisked into the milk and egg mixture. This way the yolks won't be shocked by the heat and ruin the pudding!

Poured back into the same pot you already used, the loose base is placed back on the stove and brought to a boil - this will continue cooking the yolks and activate the starch, which will give you a luxurious and thick texture after it has had a chance to chill out in the refrigerator. Before that happens though, we sneaked in a bit more punch by adding a knob of butter, brilliant lemon zest and a splash of floral vanilla. Now, if you're a pudding skin fan, which I am definitely not, leave the cover off once you go to cool the pudding. If you're not a fan, lay a piece of plastic wrap right on the surface so a skin doesn't have a chance to form.

We went out and ran some errands after I was finished, but we raced home as I was eagerly awaiting my chance to dig a spoon in. At first, I was a little thrown off by the soft pieces of ginger that studded the silky pudding, but I quickly grew to love the sweet bite they threw into the mix. The essence from the lemon zest brought an unexpected brightness that Jeff and I both agreed added to the attractiveness of this unique pudding. I'm sure you could push the pudding through a sieve if you wanted to maintain a smooth texture with just a hint of ginger, but now that I've tasted this, I'm glad we didn't go that route. If you wanted to gussy up this pudding, a dollop of fresh whipped cream would be a wonderful way to go!


  1. I'm such a huge ginger fan. I add it wherever I can. I also happen to have some crystallized ginger around, so I can't wait to try out this pudding! Looks delicious!