Homemade Pistachio Pudding

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When I was a little girl, I always requested my favorite dessert for my birthday, or any other special occasion: Striped Delight (shortbread crust, a cream cheese + whipped cream layer and pistachio pudding on top). I still remember being horrified when, for my birthday (probably my fifth or sixth), there was no pistachio pudding in the house so lemon pudding was substituted. I was crushed.

Homemade Pistachio Pudding

A while back, I spied a recipe for homemade pistachio pudding on Joy the Baker’s blog. I knew it needed to happen in my kitchen someday, but I only worked up the gumption to make it a few days ago.

The results? A creamy pudding with wonderful depth of flavor. Does it replace the fakey instant pudding I grew up with? No, it tastes nothing like that. Is that a bad thing? No. I’ll probably eat more instant pistachio pudding before I die, but this recipe is a lovely, more natural alternative.

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Recipe Notes:

  • Reuben and I agreed that, while very tasty, this pudding was a bit too sweet. Next time I’ll be cutting out a bit of the sugar.
  • You can definitely use a natural sweetener (which is probably what I’ll do next time) if you wish. I used granulated because I wanted the pudding to be a pretty color for photos.

Homemade Pistachio Pudding | from Joy the Baker | printable page | makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

For the pistachio paste:

  • 1/2 cup salted pistachio nuts
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (or a natural sweetener)
  • 2 tablespoons water

For the pudding:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (or a natural sweetener)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts, chopped
  • whipped cream, for serving

Directions:

To make the Pistachio Paste:

Place pistachios in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until the nuts are in small bits.  Add the sugar and water, and blend until relatively smooth.

To make the Pudding:

1) Spoon Pistachio Paste into a medium saucepan.  Add the milk and whisk over medium heat.  Heat milk and pistachio until steamy and hot.

2) While milk is heating, whisk together granulated sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch and pinch of salt.  Mixture will be thick.  Keep whisking until it’s smooth.  Pour about 1/2 cup of the steaming pistachio milk into the sugar and egg mixture.  Whisk together.  Add another half cup of hot milk and whisk to incorporate.  Return the milky egg mixture into the saucepan over medium heat.

3) Heat pudding mixture over medium heat until thick and bubbly.  Whisk almost constantly.  You might also want to use a heat-proof spatula to stir the mixture, ensuring that the sides and corners of the pan aren’t burning. Boil for about 1 minute, or until thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract, until butter is melted.  Pass cooked pudding through a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl.  This will ensure that any cooked egg bits don’t make it into the finished pudding.  Press the pudding through the strainer.  Add a few of the pistachio nut bits that the strainer catches back to the pudding if you’d like.

4) Spoon into small ramekins, place plastic wrap over the individual puddings (so the plastic touches the top of the pudding), and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

5) Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream and chipped pistachios. Pudding will last, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.


Bacon, Cheddar and Chive Scones + Monday Favorites

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Hey everyone! I baked some super-delicious scones. You can check out the recipe + step-by-step photos & instructions on the Tasty Kitchen Blog. {LINK}

Stuff I love at the moment:

Recipes:

Provencal New Potatoes via Simply Recipes | Roasted Broccoli Soup via i am baker | Homemade Lemon Curd via Have Cake, Will Travel | Lemon Crepes via Cook Me Tender | Chocolate Jam Sandwich Cookies via Desserts for Breakfast | Banana Cake with Butterscotch via White on Rice Couple | Thai Tea Ice Cream via Amandeleine

Products:

Cake Plate | Edwyn Collins Mugg | Le Café Mug | Porcelain Lip Bowl | Bone China Spoons | Rosewood Serving Knife | Linen Apron | Monochrome Cup Set | Bowls | Bowls | And More Bowls | Be Happy Tea Towel | Rustic Honey Pot |

What are you lovin’ today?


Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

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Super-sweet cakes are definitely not my cup of tea. Ever since I was a little girl I have disliked overly sugary desserts. Often times I would refuse birthday cake and opt for plain ice cream. Of course these days I’m a little more polite. I’ll eat my share of sickly-sweet treats; but give me a perfectly sweetened dessert and I’m much happier.

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The frosting is another hang-up. Gobs of powdered sugar + only a tiny bit of butter = disgusting, in my book. To balance out the sweetness, frosting needs a good measure of fat, whether it be in the form of butter, cream cheese, cream or peanut butter.

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Here I give you (what I consider to be) one of the best types of cakes: Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting. The actual cake doesn’t taste like sugar fluff; it has flavor and a bit of spice and it’s nice and moist. The cream cheese in the frosting makes it pleasantly tangy and the maple syrup and vanilla give it a lovely flavor.

What do you think? Do you prefer your desserts with less sugar, or do you have a major sweet tooth?

Notes:

In keeping with my lower sugar preference, I cut out some of the sugar both in the cake and the frosting. If you have more of a sweet tooth than I do, you can go ahead and put in the full amount of sugar.

Of course I had to use half whole-wheat flour.

The original recipe called for nuts, but since Reuben prefers his desserts without them, I only put them on top.

Because I have always wanted to try it, I halved the recipe and baked the cakes in two 6-inch pans. I have provided the full-sized recipe below, but if you want to make a cute cake, just cut everything in half and bake in smaller pans.

Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting | Printable Page | Makes 10-12 servings

Adapted from The Joy of Baking and Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 3/4 pound raw carrots (preferably organic), peeled and finely grated (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (preferably ww pastry flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled, or any other flavorless oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup organic confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

For the Cake:

1) Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper.

2) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

3) Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the eggs until frothy, about a minute. Slowly add the sugar & beat until thick and light colored, about 3-4 minutes. Add the oil in a slow steady stream. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the grated carrots.

4) Equally divide the batter between the two prepared pans (I weighed the batter for precise measurement). Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

5) Remove from oven and allow the cake to cool, in the pan on a wire rack, for about 5-10 minutes. Turn the cakes out of the pans onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:

1) Beat the cream cheese and butter together until fluffy.

2) Sift the powdered sugar over the cream cheese/butter mixture and mix until well combined. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract and beat until combined.




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