Make Pudding From Scratch

Pudding out of a box has no flavor compared to the one you can make from scratch, says The Early Show resident chef Bobby Flay.

On Thursday, he shows how easy it is to make your own pudding and even use it as a base for a delicious pudding pie.

Puddings, like custards, are thick, creamy mixtures of milk, sugar, and flavorings. Custards are thickened with eggs; puddings, with cornstarch or flour.

Some puddings, such as bread and rice, are universally popular, but incorporate regional or cultural variations. There are several different types of baked puddings. Some types of baked puddings begin on the stove and finish in the oven (like rice pudding).

In others, the ingredients are just mixed and baked in the oven (such as in bread pudding).

Boiled puddings are the easiest and quickest to prepare. They are constantly stirred on the stovetop until thickened and can be made in such favorite flavors as vanilla, chocolate and butterscotch.

The following are Flay's recipes:

Butterscotch Pudding & Pie

For the filling:
2 1/4 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Scotch whisky
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 baked 9-inch pie crust

For the meringue top:
2 egg whites
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Method:
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the milk and cream, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Immediately turn off the heat and set aside. In a large, heavy skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the brown sugar, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly, to caramelize the mixture. (You will smell a characteristic nutty-caramel odor when the butter browns, signaling that the mixture is ready.) Whisking constantly, gradually add the butter/brown sugar mixture to the hot milk/cream mixture.

  2. Put the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk in about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture. Whisk in the cornstarch and salt until dissolved. Whisk the cornstarch mixture back into the hot milk mixture in the saucepan. Add the scotch and whisk in. Whisking constantly, cook over medium-high heat until thick and just boiling. When the mixture thickens, the whisk will leave trail marks on the bottom of the pot and the mixture will have a few large bubbles boiling up to the top. Turn off the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour into the pre-baked pie shell and chill, uncovered, at least 2 hours, or overnight.

  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F For the meringue top: Whip whites with the salt to soft peaks, then add sugar and whip until sugar is dissolved and whites are glossy.

  4. Spread meringue on top of the slightly cooled pie and bake for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Chill until ready to serve.

Dark Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients:

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cup whole milk
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Method:
  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa power, espresso powder and salt. Combine the heavy cream and milk in a large measuring cup. Add 1 cup of the mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Add the remaining cream/milk mixture and place the saucepan over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, about 4-5 minutes.

  2. Add chocolate and cook, whisking until chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and butter. Divide among 6 ramekins or pour into a medium bowl, cover and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours. Serve with sweetened whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

Malted Milk Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients:

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 1/4 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons malted milk powder
4 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sweetened Whipped Cream
Mini malted milk balls

Method:
  1. Whisk 1/2 cup sugar, cocoa and cornstarch in heavy large saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk. Whisk over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens slightly, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the malted milk powder.

  2. Whisk yolks and eggs in large bowl. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes (do not boil). Remove from heat. Add chocolate, butter and vanilla; whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  3. Spoon 1/4 cup of the pudding into each of 6 parfait glasses. Top each with a dollop of whipped cream and a few mini malted milk balls. Repeat layering ending with whipped cream and malted milk balls.

Tune in Thursday's The Early Show to see Flay prepare these recipes. And find out about what it was like for him to prepare for the upcoming "Iron Chef America," which airs Jan. 16.
  • Tatiana Morales

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