In recipe on December 23, 2009 at 2:11 pm

since our fabulous birthday plans were disrupted by the blizzard of ’09 (at least i think they were fabulous. they were – and remain – a surprise merely postponed), i decided to make a special dessert for our impromptu dinner at home.

blancmange, or traditional, basic vanilla pudding. (french for “white food”)

it matched the white outside and seemed like a simple but elegant comfort food. fannie farmer provided the recipe. (according to fannie, this dessert played a key role in little women, but you couldn’t prove it by me.)

i halved the recipe to make three small portions, and i had my ramekins ready.

start by mixing 1 and a half tablespoons of cornstarch (half a tablespoon is a teaspoon and half a teaspoon. i was doing some funny math here because i was halving the recipe), 2 tablespoons sugar, a pinch of salt…

…with 1/8 of a cup (or 2 tablespoons) of milk.

meanwhile, warm the rest of your milk (3/4 of a cup plus 2 tablespoons) in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan (or, better yet, a double-boiler) over medium-low heat.

whisking constantly, add the sugar-cornstarch mixture to the warm milk.

fannie said to stir until the mixture got thick, then cook (still stirring!) for another 15 minutes to get rid of the cornstarch-y taste. in total, this took about 30 minutes. don’t let it boil, or even get close. just keep it nice and warm.

when it’s thick, stir in half a teaspoon of vanilla.

if you are going to serve it in ramekins like i did, now is the time to divide it up, let it cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for, i’d say, a couple hours or up to a day before serving.

tastes like tapioca, but without the lumps or the eggs. quick, easy… i’ll definitely make it again.


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