Pudding is one of those desserts that always fascinated me as a kid. The transformation from a straight-up liquid to a thick goop more akin to a solid seemed magical—at what point did it happen? I knew it had to be a gradual state change, but my young self knew there had to be a turning point that triggered it, probably related to its temperature. And the care that went into preventing the pudding from sticking—the constant whisking and diligent scraping of the saucepan’s bottom—lent an additional air of glamour to the endeavor. Pudding was not something to, ahem, trifle with.
Perhaps I haven’t quite mastered the art of perfect pudding. I wanted to make a luscious lemon pudding to serve as the vehicle for a topping of big, ripe blackberries, but my pudding came out a little… funky. It tasted just fine, but its aesthetic appeal was diminished by ubiquitous tiny white dots suspended throughout its gelatinous form. Although improperly mixed cornstarch seems the likely culprit, I think I’m pointing the finger at my almond milk. I’ve been disappointed with Almond Breeze recently; their milk seems to separate at the drop of a hat, and the little white dots look suspiciously like separated almond milk.
But no matter. The pudding works just fine as a base for a topping of gorgeous blackberries, dots or no dots. Next time, though, perhaps I’ll opt for a pudding base of silken tofu… ;)
(serves three; adapted from this recipe)
- 5 T cornstarch
- 5 T cold water
- Juice of two lemons (about ½ cup)
- 2 C almond milk
- Scant ½ t vanilla extract
- ⅔ C sugar
- ¼ t salt
- Dash turmeric, for color
- 1 C fresh raspberries, divided
In a small tightly-lidded jar, combine cornstarch and water and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside, preferably in the refrigerator.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the lemon juice, almond milk, vanilla extract, and sugar. Whisk to combine and heat for a couple of minutes. If the mixture separates, that’s okay–just give it a whisk.
Add the salt and turmeric. Stream in the cornstarch mixture slowly while constantly whisking. Continue to whisk until the pudding starts slowly boiling, then turn the heat down to low and continue whisking as the pudding thickens, for about 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove. Pour into serving dishes and let cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge. Cool for three hours or overnight. Top with fresh raspberries and serve.
Note: If using organic lemons, feel free to add a tablespoon of lemon zest. Mine weren’t organic, so I didn’t want to use the rinds.