Saturday, May 14, 2011

Licorice Pudding

Last month I was remarking to my husband that he’s the only person who has tasted everything on my blog. I told him one day I would surprise him by posting something he never even knew I made. Surprise! Of course I didn’t want to torture him by posting something he would have liked, so I purposely picked something I knew he wouldn’t (he doesn’t like licorice and I’m pretty sure he feels indifferent about pudding).

But making something Chuck dislikes wasn't my sole motivation. I had just gotten home from the dentist and was told not to eat anything too chewy for the next two weeks. It didn't really bother me (I'm not a gum chewer). But being told point blank not to do something does feel a little like a challenge (now we know where my daughter gets it). When I spotted this recipe, I saw a deliciously ingenious way around this mandate. Turning chewy, sticky licorice into something smooth and creamy...brilliant!

Makes 6 servings

3/4 cup very finely chopped Panda brand black licorice sticks or pieces (3 1/2 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1.      Combine licorice, salt, 4 cups milk, and 1/3 cup sugar in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan and heat over moderately low heat (do not let boil), stirring frequently, until licorice is dissolved, 18 to 20 minutes. (If licorice is not completely dissolved, let mixture stand off heat, uncovered, whisking occasionally, 10 minutes.)
2.      Increase heat to moderate and bring milk mixture to a bare simmer.
3.      Stir together cornstarch and remaining 1/2 cup milk in a small bowl.
4.      Whisk cornstarch mixture into licorice mixture and simmer, whisking, 2 minutes to thicken.
5.      Whisk together egg yolks and remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl until combined well, then add hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking. Return to saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until thermometer registers 170° F. Immediately pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl and stir in butter until incorporated.
6.      Chill pudding, its surface covered with a round of wax paper, until very cold, about 4 hours (or up to 3 days).
7.      Just before serving, gently whisk pudding, then divide among 6 glasses or bowls.

from Gourmet Magazine, March 2007

Panda licorice box (if you use another brand, make sure it's really good stuff).
chopped licorice
licorice milk
hot licorice milk tempered with egg yolks

(I forgot to snap a photo of the mixture back
in the pot with the cornstarch mixture added.)
I poured the pudding into ramekins and then realized I'd forgotten to add
the butter, so I just left it out. It was very creamy and tasted great,
so I would say it's optional. I also didn't cover the surface with waxed paper
and whisk before serving. I don't mind a little pudding skin (in fact, I rather like it).


Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to Chuck's comment. Actually, I really like licorice and I really like pudding - so maybe one day you will get a post that I have made this. Today I have been dealing with excess lemons. Yum

Susan said...

You know what they say about when life gives you lemons...

Randi said...

Could you use this kind of licorice melting method to make licorice ice ice cream, too?

Susan said...

Randi - I'm sure you could melt licorice into your ice cream base (I was thinking the exact same thing while I was making the pudding).

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