On days when I have to have a dessert, either we drive down to Freeds Bakery, or just about any bakery that is open after 8 pm. I bing on a slices of florentine cheesecakes and parisian chocolate cake or almond croissants with extra shot of espresso and phew, I am covered for a week. If it’s way too late to step out I make this quick mango pudding. The sugar craving is taken care of in hardly any time, I like it lightly warm.
After a dessert making hiatus of over two months, (when I made these ladoos),this long weekend,while the husband was pretty much glued to world cup for most part of the day, I whipped up a couple of them back to back.It started with this mango pudding after I got reminded of this childhood favorite in one of the indian buffets and the other one was put together rather compulsively because I wanted to finish up that 20oz of mango puree leftovers.
Done right, this could be a luscious dessert that you can put together in no time. My mom used to make a lot of pudding for after dinner treats growing up, I remember how in winters, the warm, luscious vanilla custard was topped with caramelized apples while the chilled mango version was a summer thing. In the most clumsy way, I always licked that velvety, thick thing more from the back of the spoon for it was gooey and almost coated all your taste buds – comforting just like a sweet dish should be!
This eggless custard is such a breeze to make and one of those baby steps in indian dessert cooking, infact the recipe is a no brainer, cornstarch is used to thicken the sweetened dairy, cashwes add some extra flavor and texture and then you let it sit in the refrigerator to set. The only way to spoil it is during the time when the mixture is on stove (I say that from experience), its slightly tricky to stop cooking just when the custard begins to thicken and though I have noted times in the recipe, I strongly recommend you to trust your instincts and gut when the stove is on.
The pudding can be served as it is,with any kind of seasonal fruits you like. You can fill up a tart base for a decadent dessert or top it with few teaspoons of sugar and brûlée it (ideas!) Do not mix fresh fruit with the custard unless you are serving all of it right away, this way it can keep good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Ingredients (Serves 4-5)
200 ml whole milk, cold
200 ml heavy cream, cold
1.5 tbsp cornstarch/cornflour
2 heaped tbsp fine ground cashew or almond powder
8-10 saffron strands or cardamom powder
3-5 tbsp sugar (adjust to taste)
1.5 cups mango purée/mango pulp
Grapes, Mangoes, berries, toasted coconut(or any fruit or nuts of choice to serve)
I use tinned mango puree available in indian/pakistani stores, if using fresh, choose the sweetest mango variety and grind to make a smooth pulp.You can add little bit of saffron for color and flavor.
You can substitute the heavy cream with whole milk but the cream makes the custard nicely rich and (of course) creamy and delicious.
Grind saffron strands with pinch of sugar and infuse in warm milk.
In a heavy bottom pot, mix cold milk, cream, cornstarch and cashew or almond powder. Whisk thoroughly till all the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Place the pot on low medium stove and stirring continuously let the mixture warm up. It will take about 5-6 minutes. Once you start seeing little bubbles on the sides, reduce the heat to lowest and continue to stir. The mixture will thicken fast from here and will stick to bottom if you do not stir.
To test if the milk-cream mixture has thickened, check the back of the spoon by drawing a line with your fingers in the middle, the gap or lines should stay separate. Immediately add the sugar and mango puree. Whisk thoroughly and let cook on lowest heat for another minute till sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add the saffron or cardamom. Mix well. Strain using your soup strainer into a bowl so that any lumps are removed. At this point, you can mix the dried fruit if using. They will swell lightly as the pudding chills. Tear a large cling film and place it right on the surface of the custard, this avoids the formation of skin as the pudding chills.
Chill overnight or for at least 5-6 hours. Divide into serving bowls. This is thick and creamy. Serve with fresh fruit/nuts of choice.