Home Cooking Recipes
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Quick & Easy
By Beverly Barbour

Puddings that Mom never made

Is it possible that puddings have gone out of fashion because you can buy the mixings in a box and probably turn out something better than your grandmother made? I loved Mom's chocolate pudding with sliced bananas and whipped cream, but my grownup taste buds tell me that a chocolate mousse is really much better. So it goes while thumbing through her recipe cards. The old recipes have a hard time competing with the new. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't eat tried and true puddings.

Here are a few recipes, so good that you might consider making them for Mother's Day. Or, stir them up any day when a make-ahead dessert is in order.

White Chocolate Mousse

Couldn't be easier. Garnish with raspberries or slices of strawberry or sprinkle with chopped, toasted nuts. A sprig of fresh mint would be pretty.

1 package (6 oz) white chocolate
1 1/2 cups whipping cream, divided

Microwave white chocolate and 1/4 cup of the cream in large bowl on HIGH 2 minutes or until white chocolate is almost melted, stirring halfway through heating time. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Cool 20 minutes or until room temperature, stirring occasionally. Beat remaining 1 1/4 cups cream until soft peaks form. DO NOT OVERBEAT. Fold half of the whipped cream into cooled chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining whipped cream just until blended. Spoon into wine glasses, demitasse cups or small bowls. Refrigerate 2 hours or longer. Makes 6 servings.

Milk Chocolate Caramel Creme Brulee

This recipe came to me years ago from the pastry chef at New York's Park Avenue Cafe.

3 cups milk
2 3/4 cups heavy cream
8 ounces (1 cup) granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
8 egg yolks

Preheat oven to 325 F. Bring to a boil the milk, cream and 1/4 cup (2 oz) sugar. Meanwhile cook remaining 3/4 cup (6 oz) sugar with 1/2 cup water down to a dark caramel; stirring almost constantly near end of caramelizing process. Carefully and slowly pour 1/3 of the milk/cream mixture into the caramel stirring to combine. Then pour back into the milk and again bring to a boil. Pour this hot mixture over the chocolate, stirring to melt chocolate. When cool combine with egg yolks. Bake in shallow dishes set in a pan of very hot water until the custard sets. (Test by inserting the tip of a silver knife into custard. It is done when the knife comes out clean.) Remove from hot water bath and let cool. Before serving sprinkle with a mixture of 1/2 light brown sugar and 1/2 cane sugar and place directly under broiler until the sugars melt to glaze the Brule. If you have the kind of small torch that professional pastry chefs use, that would be the quickest way to melt the sugars. This is a large recipe making approximately 6 1/2 cups.

Baked Apple Tapioca

This could also be good made with pears or plums or bananas. I still love tapioca pudding with whipped cream and fruit, don't you?

2 cups thin slices of apple, peeled and cored
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup quick cooking tapioca
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 F. Butter a 1-quart casserole dish. Arrange apple slices in casserole dish. Pour combined sugar and water over apples and bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Combine tapioca, salt, nutmeg and lemon rind. Stir into apples, along with butter and lemon juice. Bake 15 minutes longer, or until apples are tender, stirring occasionally. Serve warm with cream, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Fresh Orange Tiramisu

Italy's favorite dessert takes on a fresh form perfect for spring.

1 cup fresh orange juice
5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
6 tablespoon Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or other orange-flavored liqueur*
6 large oranges
1/3 cup water
2 cups whipping cream, chilled
16 ounces mascarpone cheese
20 ladyfinger cookies

Stir orange juice and 1 tablespoon sugar in heavy saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Cool orange syrup. Stir in 1 tablespoon liqueur. Cut all peel and white pith from oranges. Cut 5 oranges into 1/4-inch thick rounds; set aside. Coarsely chop remaining orange; transfer chopped orange and any accumulated juices to another heavy small saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/3 cup water to chopped orange. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until thick and pulpy, stirring frequently and mashing mixture with back of fork, about 25 minutes. Cool cooked orange mixture completely. Beat whipping cream and mascarpone cheese together in large bowl until soft peaks form. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cooked orange mixture, and remaining 5 tablespoons liqueur. Line soufflé dish with overlapping sheets of plastic wrap, leaving 4-inch overhang. Line bottom and sides of dish with orange slices, halving some slices as needed to cover completely. Dip 1 cookie into orange syrup to barely soften, turning once, about 2 seconds. Place atop oranges in bottom of dish. Repeat with enough cookies to cover bottom of dish. Spread 1 1/2 cups mascarpone mixture over cookies. Arrange half of remaining orange slices over mascarpone mixture. Repeat layering with cookies dipped in syrup, 1 1/2 cups mascarpone, and oranges. Place third layer of cookies dipped in syrup atop oranges and then spread remaining mascarpone over. Fold plastic overhang over tiramisu. Chill at least 3 hours and up to 1 day. Peel back plastic wrap. Place plate atop soufflé dish. Invert dish. Remove dish and plastic wrap from tiramisu. Makes 6 servings. *Or use 6 additional tablespoons orange juice and grated rind from 2 oranges.

Puddin' and pie--desserts to die for!


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