Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Streamlined New Years - with pudding

We are coming upon the High Holy Days....time to begin our self-reflection as we begin a new year:

This time of year can be fraught with an overwhelming sense of guilt, responsibility, and yes, authenticity. Too often I find this time of year to be filled with a lot of judgement of others and not so much about one's self. And to me, that misses the point. 

There's certainly enough research out there to see that traditions change, morph and sometimes fizzle as we move forward. It doesn't mean it's any less authentic, but rather a statement of how we can best fit important messages into our lives. 

It's like how I feel about fad diets. Why throw out everything you know about eating, when the basics are already there, just maybe ignored? 

So, whether or not you actually do observe this time of year and whether or not you identify with doing anything for it, I thought I'd once again delve into the traditions and see if I can make of them.

After last year's recipe for honey cookies, I decided to stay far away from traditional honey cake as possible. And for some reason, I've been craving pudding. So I went with it. 

This time, the recipe is entirely from the Streamlined Ska Librarian's imagination. I've never made pudding, let alone a rather nontraditional flavor like apple-honey, so there were a lot of experiments and tweaks. And even though I wanted that pudding siliness, I decided it needed some crunch in the end, so I quickly sauteed-carmelized some apple slices for the top. You could go the whipped cream or fruit route, or even chocolate chips. 

And yes, this recipe contains corn starch, honey and dairy products (albeit low-fat milk and skyr), but I also use unsweetened applesauce (nothing but apples!) which doesn't need a huge amount of sweetening as a dessert. And anyway, portions are portions and a sweet Rosh Hashana treat can be just the thing you need to set you on the path for the rest of the year.

The Streamlined Ska Librarian's Rosh Hashana Apple - Honey Pudding (serves 6)

1  cup cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 TBS cinnamon
1 TBS cardamom
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp all spice
2 TBS ground ginger
1 cup water, buttermilk, yogurt or cream (I use Siggi's Filmjölk)
siggi's filmjölk
siggi's filmjölk
3 egg yolks
1 qt 2% milk
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup + 2 TBS honey
1 cup brown sugar
1 TBS vanilla 
1 apple
1 TBS butter
splash mirin (optional) 
extra cinammon, cardamom, etc. to taste

1. Combine cornstarch, salt and spices in a bowl 
2. Add liquid until a well mixed slurry is produced. (Add additional water if needed)
3. Beat the three yolks and add to the cornstarch mixture
4. In a fairly large saucepan, heat the applesauce, 3/4 cup honey and sugar over medium until combined.
5. Add the milk to the applesauce mixture. Heat until it just begins to bubble.
5. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about 3/4 of the milk mixture into the egg-cornstarch slurry. It should be well combined, a bit frothy, but still totally liquid.
6. Pour this mix back into the saucepan and start whisking at a steady pace. In about 2-3 minutes it should start to thicken. 

Just like this...

7. Add vanilla and taste to see if more spices are needed.
8. Keep whisking for about 5-10 minutes until the pudding is smooth and thick. Do NOT let it boil.
9. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap if you're one of those people to hates pudding skin.
(It may take quite some time to cool. Don't put it in the fridge until it's completely cool).
10. When ready to serve, slice apple and sautee in a pan with butter,  remaining honey and mirin. Add spices when cooked.

11. Let cool slightly and place on top of each serving of pudding.

And the result?

Mmm...mmm! Atonement will be a breeze after this!

L'Shanah Tovah, y'all!


Liu, Joseph. “A Portrait of Jewish Americans.” Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project, October 1, 2013. http://www.pewforum.org/2013/10/01/jewish-american-beliefs-attitudes-culture-survey/.

1 comment:

  1. oops, accidently deleted my own comment!
    IMHO, this pudding rocks!
    Tried to find a similar recipe on my go-to lifestyle guide, good.com, but alas, came up empty handed.
    I used some to make oatmeal cookies and they were great! I think DH enjoyed them as well<3
    I can't wait to make them again for the holidays, or to pack as treats for apple picking and pumpkin hunting with the furry kids!