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.


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8 thoughts on “Homemade Pistachio Pudding

  1. I adore pistachio pudding.
    And striped delight is my brother’s birthday recipe request every year. We usually make it with vanilla pudding. I’ve never heard of the pistachio version. Lovely!

  2. What a sumptuous pudding! The creamy pale green pistachio is exquisite. When I try to recreate food memories from my childhood they always fall a bit shy of my expectations. Then, I appreciate my recollections even more!

  3. Hi. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your natural recipe.

    I was led to your recipe because I want to try making pistachio pudding cookies, but all the cookie recipes call for instant pudding mix. I don’t care to try instant pudding mix, but the cookies look nice.

    Could your finished recipe replace the artificial ingredient in those pudding cookie recipes?

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