Pudding From Scratch

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Forget instant pudding. Making pudding from scratch is easy and only requires a few staple ingredients.

Homemade pudding has a reputation for being difficult and disaster prone. In fact it is straightforward and easy to make as long as you give it your full attention. The cooking pudding needs constant attention to prevent burning and lumps, during this time you cannot stop stirring to answer the phone or find a bowl for the next step. Don't worry though, this step only takes about 5 minutes.

I have provided a basic recipe in step 2, but the important thing here is the method, so feel free to use any recipe you like. A similar method is used for custard, pastry cream and ice cream.

Step 1: Ingredients and Tools

All pudding recipes will use these basic ingredients in varying proportions.

Ingredients:

Milk
Cornstarch
Egg Yolks
Sugar
Salt (op)
Butter (op)
Flavourings

Tools:

Small sauce pan
2 heat proof bowls
Whisk
Strainer
Heatproof spatula

Step 2: Recipe


There are a huge number of recipes available for pudding and this method will help you make any of them. The recipe below is more or less average, while you may find others with many more yolks, whole eggs or no eggs at all.

A Basic Recipe:

1 cup Milk (1%-3%)
1 Egg Yolk
1 Tbsp Corn Starch
1/8 cup Sugar
pinch Salt (op)
1 tsp Butter (op)

Expect 2 servings per cup of milk. Scale as desired.

Other recipes you might like to try:

Vanilla Pudding
Chocolate Orange Pudding
Caramel Pudding

Step 3: Prep

In a heatproof bowl whisk together cornstarch, sugar, egg yolks, salt and a splash of milk.

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan heat remaining milk over medium heat. Stir to prevent milk from burning.

Have ready a second heatproof bowl, a strainer, and a heatproof spatula. You will not be able to leave the stove once you start the next step (it will take 5 or 10 minutes) so make sure everything is ready.

Step 4: "Temper" Eggs

Once the milk is just simmering or foamy around the edges and steaming pour slowly into the egg mixture whisking the entire time. Once about half of the milk is whisked in, you can start pouring more quickly and dump the rest in.

This is called tempering the eggs and allows you to mix the hot milk and eggs without getting egg drop soup.



Step 5: Cook

Pour the milk and egg mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat. Begin stirring with a heatproof spatula.

At first the pudding will be thin and watery. Keep stirring.

After a few minutes you will notice the mixture beginning to thicken. Use the spatula to stir every part of the pan thoroughly and constantly. It may begin to bubble, just keep stirring.

Keep stirring until the pudding is thick enough to coat the spatula and leave a clean line when you pull your finger through it. Remove from heat and pour immediately through a strainer into a clean bowl.

Step 6: Strain

Push the cooked pudding through a strainer to catch any inevitable lumps.

Step 7: Finish

To finish the pudding stir in butter (optional but adds a nice shine) and any desired flavourings. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming, and refrigerate a few hours until cool and set.

Chocolate Pudding:
Stir chopped chocolate into hot pudding. Allow an ounce or two per cup of milk. Use a good quality chocolate that you would eat plain.

Vanilla Pudding:
Stir in a splash of good quality vanilla extract. Allow a teaspoon or so per cup of milk.

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    12 Discussions

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    gabouuu

    3 years ago

    best pudding ever (mine tasted a bit like cake batter wrong or not?)

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    rburgen

    3 years ago on Introduction

    This is the first time I made Vanilla pudding from scratch,I followed your directions to a tea and Bam!! pudding tastes good thank you for sharing.

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    ale-8-1

    7 years ago on Introduction

    This is much easier than making the box mix stuff and less messy. Thanks.

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    O-Budd-1

    7 years ago on Introduction

    did you know you can prevent the skin from forming if after it is done, put pan in a bowl of ice water and stir til cold then you can cover it with a lid and store in a the refrig. It works for me

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    suayres

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Also known as " blancmange". Lovely stuff, so much nicer than the hideous junk they sell in those little boxes. Well, heck, yeah! It's REAL!

    2 replies
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    NoFillersuayres

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks Suayres. I knew I was bound to confuse the non-Canadians/Americans in the audience, but didn't know what else to call it.

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    Monsterguysuayres

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Ahhh! I always wondered what the "pudding" they referred to in many US TV shows was. Now I know :)

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    ilpug

    7 years ago on Introduction

    cant wait to make this. just gotta get some sugar.

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    flyingpuppy

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Ah, the memories this brings... Yes, so much better than the pre-fab stuff.

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    shielaann

    7 years ago on Step 7

    TO KEEP THE LUMPS OUT OF THE PUDDING RUB THE SUGAR AND THE CORNSTARCH TOGETHER UNTIL WELL BLENDED . THE CORNSTARCH WILL LUMP IN LIQUIDS BUT THE SUGAR KEEPS IT FROM DOING THAT , ALSO TO PREVENT A FILM FROM FORMING , SPRINKLE A LITTLE BIT OF SUGAR ON THE TOP.
    THIS IS CALLED" FRENCH PUDDING"

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    depotdevoid

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I am generally not a big pudding fan, but the couple of times I've had honest to goodness real pudding, it's been fantastic! Thanks for the instructions, I may just have to try this myself!