DURING yuletide Thelma Hiramoto of Honolulu yearns for her grandmother's baked dessert.
puts warm finish to meal
It was a "pudding with a creamy, yellowish sauce," she wrote. "I think it was called a 'cornstarch' pudding. It was baked in custard cups in a pan with water in the bottom of the pan. When cooled, the pudding was turned over on a saucer and the custardlike sauce was poured over it."
Baked puddings are firmer and more substantial than soft and creamy cornstarch puddings cooked on a stove top, according to "The All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking" by Irma Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker (Scribner, 1997, $30). Custard and other sauces are traditional with baked puddings.
Indian Pudding(From "The All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking")1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornmealPreheat oven to 275 degrees. Generously butter 6 custard cups or a heavy 8- to 9-inch (1-1/2- to 2-quart) baking dish.
4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup light or dark molasses
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
Measure cornmeal into a large, heavy saucepan. Stir in milk, at first very gradually to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium heat and cook 3 minutes. Reduce heat as low as possible and cook 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and whisk in molasses, butter, sugar, ginger and salt.
Turn pudding into prepared custard cups or dish. Bake until the center looks firm but still slightly quivery when the dish is shaken, 2-1/2 to 3 hours for the dish. A dark crust will form on top. Cool on a rack 30 to 60 minutes. Makes 6 servings.
The pudding can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cool completely, cover with aluminum foil, and refrigerate. To reheat, bake, still covered with foil, in a 275-degree oven 45 to 60 minutes.
Serve with vanilla ice cream, heavy or light cream, or custard sauce.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving pudding: 367 calories, 11 grams fat, 34 milligrams cholesterol, 381 milligrams sodium.*
Hot Chocolate Pudding(From "Country Suppers"
by Ruth Cousineau, Morrow, 1997, $24)1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperaturePreheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 4 custard cups or an 8-inch glass pie plate or gratin dish with 5 seconds of vegetable-oil nonstick-cooking spray.
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 squares (2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on high speed to cream butter, sugar and egg until fluffy. Reduce to low speed and stir in chocolate, then milk. Mix flour with baking powder in a small bowl, add to chocolate mixture, and stir to combine.
Pour into custard cups or pie plate and bake until puffed, about 20 minutes for pie plate. Cool 10 minutes. Serve pudding hot with chilled custard sauce. Makes 4 (1/2-cup) servings.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 380 calories, 23 grams total fat, 13 grams saturated fat, 90 milligrams cholesterol, 160 milligrams sodium.*
Custard Sauce(From "Cook It Light Desserts"
by Jeanne Jones, Macmillan, 1994, $24)1 cup nonfat milkCombine milk and cornstarch in a medium-size saucepan and mix until cornstarch is completely dissolved. Add sugar, egg whites and oil; mix well. Slowly bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Place plastic wrap over the top to keep a film from forming. Allow to cool to room temperature. Makes 1 cup.
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons sugar
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon canola oil
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Approximate nutritional analysis per 2 tablespoons: 43 calories, trace fat, 1 milligram cholesterol, 29 milligrams sodium.*