Homemade Pudding Article - Allrecipes.com
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Homemade Pudding

Cupcakes have made a comeback. Now it's pudding's turn.

As comfort foods go, you can't get much simpler than pudding.

Thickening the Pudding

Puddings are thickened one or two ways:

  • Using starch: in order for the starch granules to open up and actively absorb liquid, the mixture needs to come to a boil (1-3 minutes, until it starts to thicken). Stir constantly to prevent the mixture from burning.
  • Using eggs: eggs add richness to puddings, whether or not the recipe includes additional thickeners. To add eggs to a hot liquid, you need to "temper" them (see Tempering Eggs below).

Tempering Eggs

To avoid ending up with bits of cooked scrambled egg in your pudding, you need to gently raise the temperature of the eggs before adding them to the hot milk mixture.

  • While the milk and sugar are heating, lightly beat the eggs in a medium mixing bowl.
  • When the milk comes to a boil, remove it from the heat, and pour about a cup or so into the bowl in a slow, steady stream; meanwhile, with your other hand, whisk the mixture constantly. (This is a good job for older kids, while you handle the hot stuff.)
  • Pour the hot milk-and-egg mixture back into the pot, and return it to the stove.
  • Cook over medium heat, using a wooden spoon to stir.
  • Unlike with cornstarch puddings, you don't need the egg mixture to boil.
  • The mixture will thicken slightly, so it looks like very heavy cream. It will coat the back of the spoon; test it by running your finger down the spoon. You should wipe a clear, clean line through the custard.
  • Remove from heat. The pudding will thicken more as it cools.

    Chilling the Pudding

    Many homemade puddings, like rice pudding and tapioca pudding, are delicious while warm, but many need time to set up fully. To prevent a skin from forming on the surface, cover the bowl or ramekins of pudding with plastic wrap or waxed paper.

      Jun. 19, 2009 9:08 pm
      Why isn't someone using the microwave to cook puddings? I have been using for years and find much easier than standing over hot stove stirring constantly. Just mix thickener with a little liquid stirring to blend, then add rest of liquid. Cook 2 minutes on high, stir thoroughly then cook 2 minutes more. Stir again then 2 more minutes until comes to boil....take out of microwave add extracts and butter; all done. Can be poured in individual dishes or leave in bowl used for cooking. Cover with plastic wrap if you do not like the 'skin' that will form. We happen to like the 'skin'.
      Jul. 7, 2009 2:23 pm
      Good tip, mitzisami! Microwaves are kitchen tools like any other. While they don't work for everything, they're great for making pudding!
      Nov. 13, 2009 7:48 pm
      Hi, I love to whip out puddings, but I wanna try a unique type of pudding, its basically cereal grain type of pudding, any recommendation? yea and I want something thats for the elderly to eat and would love, so what kind of ingred i could make use of to suit the needs of elderly?
      Mar. 27, 2010 4:29 am
      I converted a favorite recipe, Lemon Party Pie, (Joy's of Jello) many years ago. Instead of cooking, stirring constantly over heat, I prepare the filling recipe in a 2 C. measuring cup in the microwave, (about 5 min.). Watch closely, when it comes to a boil, I lower the power level to 50%, until finished.
      Mar. 28, 2010 9:36 pm
      My mom makes pudding in the microwave too! :) It tastes as great as the stove version and takes much less time and baby sitting!
      Mar. 29, 2010 6:39 am
      Hey Cooking Sista's! Half the "therapy" and comfort of making a good rich pudding is in the stirring process...savoring the aroma and feeling the texture come to fruition. I love stovetop method for that reason!
      Mar. 30, 2010 2:32 am
      Whichever method you like best, I like to heat the liquid, THEN add the dry ingredients. It seems to hasten the thickening process. I know.. all in my head, right? :-)
      Apr. 2, 2010 3:48 pm
      I am still cooking puddings on the stove, but I do preheat the milk in the microwave to just below boiling--then when I add the milk, I only have to stir and watch for a few minutes before the pudding comes to the boil and the eggs can be added. I grew up on made from scratch foods, especially desserts, and really cannot force myself to eat some of the "instant" foods I have tried. (Not that I avoid ALL mixes!) There are lots of shortcuts you can think of though, to make scratch cooking go faster. And, after years of practice, I can whip up a white sauce almost as fast as I can open a can of Campbell's cream of something--and with way less salt, which I must be watchful of. Since I do need to watch salt, I make as many things as I can at home--salad dressings are another whole category--so much cheaper than buying them, and you can leave out salt and make them just the way your family likes them. I would love to teach cooking and shopping skills to people when I see what unnecessa
      Jul. 29, 2010 2:36 pm
      i love homeade pudding
      Aug. 11, 2010 7:14 am
      was looking for a homemade orange pudding! Any suggestions?
      Aug. 18, 2010 2:26 pm
      I realy enjoy all the different receipes. Ladies you make it easy. Thank all of you. Happy cooking
      Oct. 20, 2010 7:38 pm
      Be very careful when using a microwave because when some plates are too hot not only can you seriously burn yourself but plates can explode!!!
      Oct. 22, 2010 12:41 pm
      I have problems tempering eggs- never been successful. Recently I tried stirring/beating the eggs into the liquid & starch BEFORE heating to boiling. Seemed to work well for me, no bits of scrambled eggs in the pudding. What is the reason pudding recipes have evolved to add the eggs after the liquid has heated?
      Nov. 19, 2010 3:50 pm
      Because the microwave kills all the nutrients in your food. Not to mention the radiation exposure,may not be alot but modern life exposes us to so much toxic why willingly add more.
      Feb. 11, 2011 10:38 am
      My mother made pies for her family's resturant for over 30 years and always made her own pudding/custard in a double boiler. You will avoid so many problems using one. We always mixed the ingredents together prior to putting on top of the double boiler and then you just stir until thick. Microwaves are for boxed pudding...homemade needs a double boiler.
      Feb. 22, 2011 3:07 pm
      He recipe that caught my eye calls for egg yolks. Can I just use half as many whole eggs? (4 yolks = 2 eggs)
      Mar. 6, 2011 10:23 am
      I agree with a few comments on why stovetop is best, it's therapy at it's best, no nutirents are killed, no radiation exposure, you can keep an eye on it and make sure it's perfect! It's like baking bread, sure you can do it in a bread machine and it turns out fine but nothing can replace the feel of kneading bread dough and shaping it into the perfect loaf. There's something so refreshing about doing things the "old fashioned way"
      Chef Bobbolooie 
      Mar. 21, 2011 5:23 pm
      High heat will destroy nutrients in food, whether by microwave or stovetop, e.g., enzymes are destroyed at 120 F. I prefer stovetop, as new studies are casting doubts as to the healthfulness of MW cooked foods.
      Mar. 25, 2011 6:25 am
      I am adjusting recipes to accommodate food sensitivities. As such, I would love any explanation of the why in most things like: why are the eggs added after the mixture is hot? If I use honey or agave instead of sugar will the extra liquid require additional thickener? Really an entire section demonstrating or even just thoroughly explaining substitution methods generally would be helpful.
      Jun. 1, 2011 10:47 am
      I'm disappointed that you don't mention sugar/sugar substitutes in regard to puddings. Does it matter, for example, if you substitute Splenda for sugar?
      Jun. 1, 2011 11:49 am
      I have been using Splenda ever since it came out. I have subed it in all my recipes. So you could sub it here because it subs cup for cup. Unlike many sweetners. I love Splenda.
      Jun. 1, 2011 2:46 pm
      Microwaving your food will not remove any more nutrients than cooking on the stove. High heat destroys nutrients regardless of the source. Using the microwave will not increase your radiation exposure. Microwave ovens do not produce ionizing radiation (the harmful stuff). You are perfectly safe from your microwave as long as you leave the filter on the front (you know, the little screen on the front with the little holes in it). Your food is perfectly safe from your microwave as long as you do not overheat it.
      Sep. 20, 2011 8:28 pm
      Thunderkiwi,if you are interested in the "why" of things in the kitchen, there's no better reference than On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee. It covers a huge range of things, and besides being interesting reading, would probably be helpful in adjusting recipes.
      Mar. 19, 2012 10:20 am
      I just made homemade pudding on the stove for the first time. Right out of the pan it was smooth and silky and perfectly delicious. But after putting it in the fridge to cool, the pudding curdled. What did I do wrong? Are you not supposed to put it in the fridge?
      Jul. 29, 2012 3:10 pm
      I am a MoM of a 3 year old and Love to try to cook new Kid Pleaser Desserts and Recipe Desserts.. when I look for Recipes I need to know how much of what{amount of all items} to add to be able to make them. I am new to cooking and need all the help I can get,could you please help. all comments will be very helpful thank you again for all the info..
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