Recipe of the Week: “Plain” Pudding Is Foundation For Super Treats

Lehmans 65th cookbook
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A ‘plain vanilla’ choice isn’t supposed to be very exciting. But this classic pudding is–because once you’ve mastered it, you’re only a step away from Amish Country delacies: banana pudding, banana cream pie and peanut butter pie!

You’ll find this versatile recipe on page 231 of our 55th Anniversary Cookbook.

(Blanc Mange, by the way, is an ancient term for similar custard-type recipes that date back to the Middle Ages. The literal translation from ancient French is ‘white food.’)

Blanc Mange

2 quarts milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons (heaping) cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla or lemon flavoring

When it comes to flavor, there’s almost no comparison between it and standard grocery-store vanilla. Its dark amber color tells you it’s the real thing: authentic Mexican vanilla, made from the richest vanilla beans on earth. At

Heat milk on medium-high. In meantime, beat eggs in small bow. Combine sugar and cornstarch with wire whisk. Slowly whisk water into the sugar and cornstarch until the consistency of cream. Add beaten eggs to sugar mixture. When milk is hot, use a ladle and pour some of the hot milk from the ladle into the sugar-egg mixture very slowly to temper the mixtures together. Blend them well.

Stir the tempered mixture into the hot milk, stirring constantly until the pudding bubbles and thickens. Remove from heat and add flavoring. Cool and refrigerate.

You can use less sugar if desired, or use Splenda instead of sugar.
For Banana Pudding: Layer pudding, crumbled graham crackers, sliced bananas and whipped topping.
For Banana Cream Pie: Cut banana slices into a baked pie shell. Pour pudding over bananas and then put whipped topping on the pie.
For Peanut Butter Pie: Mix peanut butter an powdered sugar together until peanut butter becomes crumbly. Add 3/4 of peanut butter mixture to pre-baked pie shell. Pour pudding over peanut butter mixture. Spread whipped topping over the pie filling, and top with remaining peanut butter mixture.

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