Desmond just ran into the kitchen with an important discovery -
Do you know what!? Pudding skin isn't just on the top! It's also on the sides. And on the bottom!
I don’t find this to be the case. I think what was probably going on here was that he was impatiently savoring some pudding that really hadn’t cooled completely so there were colder firmer sections near the sides and bottom.
But that's not important. What is important here is that I have brought into this world another appreciator of pudding skin.
This is one of my favorite little side perks of parenthood (up there with the free membership to LACMA) - getting to instill your own petty likes and dislikes on your kid.
As we walked down Riverside Drive last weekend after breakfast at Hugo’s (yum!), two-year-old Felix pronounced the word Valley with his father’s precise derision. In less amusing fashion, neither Desmond or Felix will touch a raw tomato. (Thank you Paul.) They both love good books. (Thank you English Major Parents.) And Desmond is developing his father's bizaare obsession with Japan.
So I guess their love of pistachio pudding was inevitable. Paul and I both loved it as kids but it's wild to think about how very different this thing is that my children are eating. In lieu of the artificial flavor, disodium phosphate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, mono- and diglycerides, yellow 5, blue 1, yellow 6, plus artificial color, bha ("reasonably ainticipated to be a human carcinogen") and tbhq (a form of butane used as a chemical preservative), found in the box of pudding mix we once knew, I used pistachios (!) and milk and a little sugar and cornstarch.
And it's totally easy to make. You just throw the nuts in the blender with some milk and a small handful of baby spinach. You won't taste the mild spinach, but it will help your pudding approach that iconic greean hue. Then you whisk together a little corn starch and sugar in a saucepan. Swirl your pistachio cream into it. Bring it to a simmer and you've got pudding. It's really not all that much harder than opening a box, and a love for edible (?!) butane is not something I am passing onto my kids.
Now, with printable recipes!
Hey! If you're not blessed with a super blender (I have the best in-laws ever. Did I tell you that they showed up on my birthday last year cradling a Vitamix just because they saw it at Costco and thought I might like it.), then you might need to strain the green pistachio cream before proceeding with the cooking.
makes: 6 servings
takes: 20 minutes + 2 hours for chilling
- 1 cup pistachios
- 3 cups soy milk (or your favorite kind of milk. My favorite is half rice milk and half soy milk.)
- 1/4 cup packed baby spinach (optional)
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
(Ideally in a powerful blender) blend the pistachios,half of the milk, and the spinach until completely smooth. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Whisk the pistachio cream into the dry ingredients, tilting the pan to make sure that there's no pesky cornstarch pockets. Over medium heat, whisk in the rest of the milk. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Simmer and stir for one minute or until the custard coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla. Pour into 6 individual ramekins, cover, and chill for at least two hours before serving.