Servings: 6 Prep: 5 mins Cook: 15 mins Total: 4 hrs
This is a kind of strange recipe. I’m not really sure what to call it, or what it is, or why I’d want one. HOWEVER! It WAS tasty, whatever it was! I also liked how it was individual servings, which made it nice to pop open a new one and eat it. I’m a big fan of portion control. Give me a bowl of food, I’m going to eat the whole bowl. If it’s a large bowl … GONE! If it’s a small bowl … GONE! So, it’s best to give me a small bowl.
In any event, my goal was to create a vanilla pudding, but I think what I made was closer to a “custard” in terms of taste and texture. Interestingly, I think this last statement is confusing to people in Europe, as I believe they define those terms differently than in the U.S. To me, a “pudding” is creamy and can be swirled around and coat the back of a spoon. Normally this is thickened with corn starch and is VERY commonly store bought in a little colorful box. A “custard” is an egg thickened “pudding” … which gives a different texture. One is starch based thickener and the other is protein. My aim was to get something resembling a creamy and thick American style “pudding”, by creating a stirred pudding base, thickened with gelatin (another protein). I suspected that I wouldn’t get what I was after, and I was correct. The end result was perhaps more like a Custard Panna Cotta, which … is awesome, wonderful and totally delicious. It’s thick, sweet and full of tasty flavor, but … it’s just not what I was after!
The search, for me, for a non-slimey (xanthan gum based), smooth and creamy, not overly eggy and not “firm and jiggly” (gelatin style) … American Style pudding continues. Stay tuned! In the meantime … this little recipe really ain’t so bad!
Vanilla Pud'eliciousPrint Rate
- 1 cup cream heavy whipping
- 1 cup almond milk unsweetened
- 1 each vanilla bean split lengthwise (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1/2 cup 'Swerve' or other sugar replacement
- 1 dash salt
- 1/2 packet (about 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 tsp, total) gelatin powder
- 6 large egg yolks
- Combine cream and 3/4 cup of the almond milk in a medium sauce pan.
- Split the vanilla bean in half. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean. Add the bean and seeds to the milk and cream.
- Bring the milk to a very slow simmer. Remove the milk from the heat and whisk the sugar equivalent and salt into the milk. Make sure it dissolves. Keep warm, but set aside.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, add your 1/4 cup remaining almond milk.
- Sprinkle the gelatin powder evenly over the surface of the almond milk. Allow it to bloom for about 5 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs well.
- Very very slowly, whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks. Whisk quickly, so as to incorporate the hot liquid evenly, without cooking or scrambling the eggs.
- Once the liquid has been incorporated into the eggs, pour the milk-egg mixture back into the sauce pan and return to a low heat.
- Stir consistently until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon with a thick coating. The temperature should be between 165 and 175. Whatever you do, do not boil this mixture.
- Strain the vanilla egg base into the almond milk with the gelatin. Whisk until the gelatin is fully dissolved.
- Divide the mixture into 6 small portions and chill. Chilling takes about 4 hours.
- Eat! Delicious with strawberries!
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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition …
20 thoughts on “Vanilla Pud’elicious”
I appreciate this effort, looks yummy!
One thing you might play with (you already might have) is glucomannan. I use it in my shakes, and in the right amount, it makes it thick and silky. I’ve even made Glucomannan Puddin, but I don’t think I ever wrote the recipes down. Anyway, to me it doesn’t go "slimy", just thick, creamy and silky smooth.
I appreciate all your recipes… you are quite talented!
I made this recipe over the weekend — it’s really good & creamy. My only problem (very slight) is that it’s quite sweet; do you think the addition of a bit of lemon juice or coffee would cut a bit of the sweetness and add some depth to the flavor?
Lorreta, thanks for the reminder! I’ve been planning to tinker with this for a good long time and just haven’t. I just placed an order for it. Thank you!
Hi ArtyGrl! Yes, something acidic or salty will always help counter the sweet. Obviously, you could just reduce the sweetener. This won’t effect the end results. Coffee sounds DELICIOUS! Cocoa powder would also work quite well! Lemon juice would work, and you could even throw a little lemon zest into it … and go for a full lemon flavor. All are great ideas!
Fixing this pudding to be the creamy American style, might be as easy as chilling the completed pudding in one larger bowl. When thoroughly chilled and set, place the pudding in the food processor and pulse until creamy. Divide among the individual serving dishes and chill again before serving. I have had success making pastry cream (a recipe with added gelatin) creamy with no apparent gelatinous quality!
Hi Beverly, I’ve actually wondered about that exact thing! My fear is that it’ll register something like a lot of very very fine miniature sweetened egg clusters. I’m not sure a better way to phrase it than that. However, there DOES stand a really great chance that it’ll smooth right out! I should really just give it a shot and see! I DID just make a pastry cream the other day. I made two batches, actually. One was thickened with glucommanan powder (which was VERY odd!) and the second batch was a blend of glucomannan and tapioca flour. The second batch looked and tasted fantastic, with the right mouthfeel, etc. It still "moved" strangely. It wobbled in that strange way that xanthan and glucommanan powders seem to wobble, but … the taste and texture were spot on. I should give your idea a go … and then I’ll know! Thank you for the thought! 🙂
I made this last night with coconut milk instead of the almond milk and cream – which worked out to be a whole can of coconut milk. I also used a whole sachet of gelatin (but English sachets might be different to US ones. One sachet is used for setting one pint). It was really good!! Really gelatinous and a lot like thick English custard, perfect Friday night treat … and Saturday breakfast today 🙂
It’s funny, Jane … it just goes to prove that you just never know … I see this recipe as one of my "learning experiences". It’s not one I’m particularly proud of and didn’t turn out like I’d hoped. Yet, it’s turning into one of my more popular recipes! I’m glad you enjoyed! Out of curiosity, how coconutty was it?
It really wasn’t overwhelmingly coconutty, the vanilla and egg were stronger. It looked like it was split when I poured it into the ramekins but it was smooth and jelly like when it had set, not at all mealy. I found it very satisfying 🙂
What if you tried arrowroot powder as a thickener instead of gelatin? Just a thought…
Cappy, I’ve actually worked on this and have tweaked it. I appear to have found my "sweet spot", which is a combination of glucommanan powder and tapioca starch. It’s quite tasty! 🙂
Being allergic to almond (and not quite fond of coconut)… curious if anyone has tried this with soy milk or another type of milk. Love your recipes DJ!
—Reply posted by Lea on 2/6/2015
Try Cashew milk! I’m using it instead of Almond milk, I just don’t like the taste, and I love it!
Hi Luci, I’m sorry about the delay! In any event, this is thickened with gelatin. So, really any liquid would work, from milk to water to soy milk to cream to … etc. You could use anything and it would work. I hope this helps! 🙂
Hi DJ, I am so happy with your recipes. I have 2 questions for you. Would you please explain a little about your comment earlier in this thread about finding the sweet spot between glucomannan and tapioca? I would like to incorporate these into more of my cooking; so I’m wondering about ratios and what applications you have used them for. Second question: I know that somewhere you told which of the books has your recipes in it, but I haven’t seen that link for a while. I would like to purchase yours. Thanks.
Hi Wendy, the ratios are likely to change from recipe to recipe, depending on the viscosity level that you?re looking for. For example, if you?re just looking to add a little touch of thickness to a ?jus? ? you can almost certainly use only glucomannan. Too much of it and it starts to get really ? slimy ? or mucous. It?s nice for some mild stiffness, but to get something ?thick?, like a nice thick gravy, you do need to start getting into something like an arrowroot or tapioca flour. Each of these can be used interchangeably and should be looked at as about twice the thickening power of corn starch (which is, itself, about twice the thickening power of flour). I really think anything over about 1 tsp of glucomannan per cup of hot liquid starts to get pretty strange. So, perhaps a good ratio would be 1 tsp of glucomannan for 1 cup warm liquid, for a slightly viscous jus. For a thicker gravy, perhaps something like 1 tsp of glucomannan and 1 tsp of tapioca flour. Or, for even thicker, 1 tsp of glucomannan and 2 tsp of tapioca flour. I would never add more than 1 tsp of glucomannan per cup of hot liquid ? and even that is pushing it. Does this help? Second question: I?m in volume 5 of the Low Carbing Among Friends cookbook series. I do hope this helped and didn?t just add to the confusion!
—Reply posted by Wendy on 1/14/2015
Thanks for your reply, DJ. I just saw your response. I left a few notes for you, but I have used so many of your recipes, that I forget where I left questions for you! I found your book and bought it, but I haven’t looked through it yet. The recipes on your website have been keeping me pretty busy! Thanks again.
I’m not understanding the “straining” part. Is there a special way to do it?p
—Reply posted by DJ on 2/6/2015
Hi Kathy, it’s fairly common practice to strain these kinds of egg based custards. As they cook, they can pick up little pieces of cooked scrambled eggs. Plus, we’re trying to get out the vanilla pods and any large pieces that may have broken off. I do this in a fine meshed strainer, typically a hand held strainer. Put it above a container large enough to hold the liquid and then pour the liquid through the strainer, disposing of anything that gets caught in the strainer. That’s it. I hope that helps! 🙂
I have a newbie question. When checking out a recipe for carbs do i go by carbs per serving or net carbs per serving ?
—Reply posted by DJ on 3/5/2015
Hi Colleen … there’s no “right” answer to that question. MANY people count all carbs. However, I would say that MOST count “net” carbs. Really, a lot of it comes down to you. Pick one and stick to it. A lot has to do with consistency and adherence to a plan. I’m a fan of “net” carbs because it’s a concept geared more towards controlling blood sugars. However, counting all carbs tends to be even more restrictive and often cuts out a lot of the refined foods and questionable sugar alcohols, like maltitol and sorbitol, for example. I know this doesn’t precisely answer your question, but it’s not a simple question easily answered in the comments section of a pudding recipe. My suggestion would be to read a lot about the concept of “net” carbs, fiber, blood sugar, various forms of sugar alcohols, the glycemic index, etc. If you spent an hour a day, Google’ing each of those terms for a week, you’ll be able to piece together a plan and approach that works for you. Different strokes for different folks … I hope this helps!
—Reply posted by Pam Roberts on 3/4/2015
To count carbs you subtrack the fiber from the net carbs and that gives you the carbs per serving.
DJ, this is very close to what I’ve been craving the last few days (I just need to get lime in there and I’ll be the happiest camper). Do you have suggestions on what to make with the 6 egg whites that are leftover? Hm…I wonder if there is a search engine that could be added to locate recipes by ingredient? Wouldn’t that be the bee’s knees? Loving your recipes, pics and stories!
—Reply posted by Brenda J Floyd on 5/8/2015
Coconut macaroons use egg whites and are delicious!
—Reply posted by DJ on 3/5/2015
Hiya Jenn! I believe Allrecipes.com has such a feature! I personally use egg whites in various omelets and frittatas. I don’t have any super creative uses for them. I just scramble ’em up with some goodies and enjoy! 🙂
I thought I should ask- is it ok to use cashew milk instead of almond milk???
—Reply posted by DJ on 3/5/2015
Hi Pam, in terms of function, it’ll work just fine!
I’ve made this vanilla pudding twice now using Splenda and real vanilla extract, it tastes awesome! I love it!