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Monday, June 10, 2013

Homemade Vanilla (or Chocolate!) Pudding

First recipe!!  Pudding?  Yes, pudding.


I gave a lot of thought to what the first recipe I post here should be.  I came up with something that has been a standard in my family for a very long time - and has the benefit of being incredibly versatile.

Pudding.

Yes, pudding.  I know, anyone under 30 has probably never even had homemade pudding - the jello stuff in a box is all they know.

The real thing is SO much better...and not much more effort.  

This recipe goes back to my grandmother and my mother - with a special thanks to my brother Larry who made it a LOT when we were kids.  This recipe is for the basic vanilla but with a little effort can be turned into many different varieties (as kids, the simplest was either slicing bananas for banana pudding or adding cocoa powder for chocolate pudding).

Basic Vanilla Pudding

1 cup flour
2 cup sugar
4 cup milk

To add after it thickens:
2 eggs
1/2 stick butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Mix the dry ingredients with the milk.

Cook over medium heat until desired consistency stirring constantly.

When desired consistency has been reached, remove from heat.  Add some of the pudding mixture into beaten eggs and stir to mix well.  Put the egg mixture back in with the rest of the pudding and mix well.  Add butter and vanilla and mix well.

You can easily alter this recipe for whatever you'd like.  We add about 5 tbsp of cocoa to make chocolate pudding (add it to the flour and sugar).  Lately I've also added a chopped up Lindt dark chocolate bar to make it have more of the dark chocolate flavor I've come to love.

If you want to make a pie, simply add a tiny bit more flour and about a half cup less of milk to get a thicker consistency then fill the pie shell.  This works well if you line the shell with bananas and then add vanilla pudding or just add the chocolate pudding for an awesome chocolate pie.  I've made a chocolate-peanut butter-banana pie by lining the shell with bananas, heating up some peanut butter and pouring it on top of that, then adding chocolate pudding and refrigerating.  That particular pie was gone within about ten minutes of serving it.  I've also made butterscotch pudding by following the same basic recipe.  

My tastes have also changed some lately so the last couple of times I've made this I've used less sugar to make it not quite as sweet.  The most important thing with this recipe (in my book, with cooking in general) is to NOT be afraid to try something different!!!  Experiment - the worst you can do is not like it and start again...and that's half the fun.

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