Saturday, June 16, 2012

Luscious Lemon Pudding

When I was a kid, one of my all time FAVORITE after school snacks was a plain ole' tub of lemon pudding. Yes, lemon pudding. I know, I was a weird kid.

My mother was, and is to this day, a teacher. Some days I would need to wait for her at an after school program, and this program always... always... served some sort of pre-packaged USDA government approved snack. Most of the time, it was pretty pathetic. I can't even remember what some of these sorry snacks were. Except one. The large tub of lemon pudding. I would see this tub, and thank God my mom had to work late that day. The lemon pudding had arrived, and all was right with my world.

Oh, the simplicities of being a child. Sigh.

I have yet to find a lemon pudding at my grocery store, and with it being summer & all, I figure it is about time I made my own. 

And damn, was it EASY!!! This recipe is so simple, I am sure even my mom could appreciate the luscious lemon simplicity. The ingredients can easily be substituted for a soy based pudding, low fat snack, or any other combo of fruit flavors. 

But for me, this lemon pudding is just... heavenly.


3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
3 egg yolks
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh lemon zest, finely grated (about 4 lemons)
2 1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp

In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, corn starch, salt, egg yolks (tip: lightly beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl first before pouring into sauce pan, helps to keep them from curdling), milk, and lemon zest. Put heat on medium and whisk frequently. As sauce thickens, whisk constantly to keep yolks from curdling & mixture from boiling. You don't want it to boil! Reduce heat a tad if you have to. Mixture will go from liquid to pudding form almost instantly, you will notice when this happens (around 10 minutes). As it thickens, add lemon juice & butter until well incorporated, butter has melted, and you reach desired consistency (maybe 1-2 more minutes). It will easily stick to the back of your ladle. Remove pudding from heat.

Meanwhile, set up a mesh sieve over a medium to large bowl. Push pudding through sieve to remove the zest & any lumps that may have formed- you will really have to push it through with a ladle.

Cover pudding tightly with cling wrap (tip: to keep a film from forming over the top, push the cling wrap down to the very top of the pudding, sealing it in with almost no air. Refrigerate for minimum of 3 hours, or until you just can't help yourself anymore and must eat it immediately ! This is just as good warm as it is chilled! Top with fresh whipped cream, granola, blueberries..... The sky is the limit to this lemony summer dessert! Lactose intolerant? Soy milk will hold up just fine for a low fat version!