I’m a horrible experimenter. I want to make sure anything I make comes out right the first time–knitting, sewing, cooking, what have you–I think it’s because I simply hate waste. I can’t imagine creating something, especially food, and then not eating it. So when I experiment I usually look for similar recipes to try out and adapt a tiny bit or I combine several recipes together. Usually, if it’s not awesome, it’s at least edible, so I can make a show of choking down one or two servings and then pushing the rest off Hub-dubs.
Not today though.
Today I has a cooking experiment go amazingly, awesomely right. I am so proud, especially since I played tennis so horribly earlier today the guy playing next to me was flat-out laughing (to my face, which I guess makes it better?). That, among other things, contributed to my “inadequacy day.” I hate those days. They put me in a bad mood and all I want to do is eat my feelings.
I shall chow down on this.
THIS is pumpkin pudding–but not the nasty, overpowering, god-awful Jell-o pumpkin pudding I was so excited to try this year. Seriously. Horrible. THIS pumpkin pudding has a delicate pumpkin flavor with just the right amount of spices. It’s awesome. I would totally eat any feeling with this–joy, sadness, inadequacy–because let’s face it, who doesn’t love pudding?
And this experiment all came about because I hate waste:
I had egg yolks to use up. They came about because I made these cheesy cauliflower tot-things that have been floating around Pinterest. By the way, they just tasted like cooked cauliflower. Nothing special, and a waste of four eggs!
I sort-of-kind-of adapted a pudding recipe (I’m not going in totally blind) from my Bible, The America’s Family Test Kitchen Cookbook or whatever it’s called.
Here’s what you’ll need for the pudding:
3 T. cornstarch
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 egg yolks
3 T. butter, melted
3 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. pumpkin butter
1 tsp. vanilla
There are very few pictures for this post, for a couple: a) making pudding is boring–it’s really just a lot of stirring. b) how can you make pudding look good? It’s custard. There’s only so many angles you can shoot it from, and, news flash: they all look the same. Because it’s custard. So, use your imagination on the bits where there’s no photos.
First, whisk together the sugars, salt, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan.
Then, turn the burner on medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in the butter, milk, egg yolks, and pumpkin butter. Technically you are supposed to “stir constantly” until it comes to a boil, but you can really get away with “stirring frequently.”
And yeah, this is the last photo. Because pudding, although delicious, is BORING.
Alright, so we’re boiling. Turn down the heat to medium-low. NOW you want to stir constantly until the pudding gets nice and thick–you’ll feel it thicken. When it has thickened (like, 1-4 minutes), take it off the heat and add the vanilla. Stir well. Now you have a choice to make: you can either pour it into a dish (or several little dishes) and let it cool, or you can strain it through a mesh strainer to remove any potential little bits of scrambled egg. Full disclosure: I totally did not strain my pudding. It looked smooth, so I thought, “what the hell?” Into the dish it went.
Once you’ve strained (or not, I certainly won’t judge) your pudding, place plastic wrap directly on the top of the pudding, put in the fridge, and let cool several hours.
How did I know this experiment really, really rules? The Hub-dubs had no idea what I was making, so I took him a spoonful and all but shoved it into his mouth (not an uncommon occurrence around here), and he says, “the flavor is really good, but it tastes awfully…pudding-y.” Then his eyes lit up a bit when he realized it was pudding. Then he high-fived me. anything in the Bank house that gets a high-five is a win.
One more thing: if you don’t have pumpkin butter, use 1/2 c. pumpkin puree plus some pumpkin pie spice. I’m sure it will do the trick.
Now go forth, and eat your feelings of awesomeness!