I actually have no idea what motivated me to make Vanilla pudding (p. 807) when I don't like pudding whatsoever. I think it was stress over the fact that I haven't made almost any desserts, and while I'm doing well in most of the savory chapters, I'm not doing well on the sweet chapters.
Again, I don't like pudding. In fact, I don't believe anyone truly likes pudding. And I haven't made a pudding since my cooking class my freshman year of high school
I mixed sugar, cornstarch, and salt, and then slowly mixed in a little milk to make a paste. I whisked in some more milk:
And stir, stir, stir, stir until it simmers. I mixed a little of the milk mixture into a beaten egg and then added that back to the milk mixture. Make sure to mix it enough or you will have scrambled eggs in your pudding (a fast way to make pudding even more disgusting).
And stir, stir, stir until it thickens:
I mixed in some vanilla and poured it into a bowl:
And refrigerated the whole mess. It looked beautiful, exactly like pudding is supposed to look. I was quite proud of it. But, again, I don't like pudding, so I didn't really want to eat it. Unfortunately, it seemed a real waste to make it and throw it away. So I thought maybe a nice topping would help.
So for the topping I went to another chapter I haven't been doing well on--Fruits. I decided to make Baked fresh fruit compote (p. 213) with pears.
I chopped the pears into large slices--but didn't core them. It doesn't say to core pears or apples, which seems really strange to me. I poured a red wine/sugar/cinnamon/cloves/salt/lemon mixture over the top:
And I popped it in the oven. At that point, I noticed that the recipe doesn't say how long the fruit should be in the oven--just "until tender". I know this is likely because different fruits take different amounts of time. Even so, it took well over an hour to become tender which seemed really excessive. In fact, I'm not even sure I cooked it enough--it was fork tender but not tender tender (if that makes any sense).
Note: This recipe WILL make your entire house smell like cinnamon for a couple days. I don't like cinnamon, so it was making me nauseous, but people buy air fresheners to make their houses smell like the compote.
The pudding with the compote was good! The pudding is extremely creamy and vanilla and actually was pretty good! And the pears had a nice, fully flavored taste that really added. Vanilla and pears always go well together. I can't say the recipe sold me on puddings but at least it made it worth the effort.