I blame the lockdown for all the ingredients I have on hand that I only use half of before I need to use them up or lose them forever. This leads me to bake random things that I have to pawn off on unsuspecting people. I suspect this is one of those experiments that won’t be welcomed with open arms, minds or mouths.
Vanilla pudding made with coconut milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 1/2 cups coconut milk (unsweetened) – feel free to use other kinds of milk to your taste
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, maybe a dash of vanilla bean powder
Whisk the sugar and salt together in a small saucepan.
Separate four eggs; set the whites aside for use in something else.
Combine the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of coconut milk to dissolve the cornstarch.
Add the cornstarch mix, the rest of the coconut milk and four egg yolks to the saucepan and whisk well.
Cook the mixture on medium heat, stir constantly.
Once mix thickens (and it will – it seems to take a while but once it starts, it gets thick quickly), lower the heat and cook for one minute while constantly whisking.
Pour the mix through a fine sieve, stir in the vanilla. Pour into a bowl, if eating as pudding. Pour into a pre-baked pie crust if making a pudding pie.
Affix plastic wrap directly to the surface of the pudding/pie filling and chill 2+ hours.
Pictured: The bit of the pudding that didn’t fit in the pie.
Finding myself with a container of soon-to-expire ricotta on my hands, not having used it for another planned recipe, I decided to make a pie to get a lot of various leftover ingredients off my hands (an overabundance of graham cracker crumbs, cream, etc.) In the end this was not such a great concoction – would be better perhaps if the apple mixture had some butter mixed into the sugar and cinnamon to make the apple layer more like apple pie. And the ricotta layer was also a bit dry and bland. I don’t know quite how I would combat the dryness (and it might not be necessary if the apples were more filling-like) but for better flavor, I might consider adding lemon zest.
Apple ricotta pie Apple layer
3 cups sliced or diced apples
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup ricotta cheese
½ cup sugar
½ cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
For the crust you can either use a regular pâte brisée/shortcrust pie-pastry dough or a graham cracker crust (use about ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons melted butter – mix together and press into a pie pan/tin. Bake ten minutes on 180C. Fill.)
For apple layer, peel apples and slice. Mix with sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Place in the prepared pie crust.
For the ricotta filling, beat eggs, then add ricotta, sugar, cream and salt. Pour over the top of the apples.
Bake at 220C (425F) for 10 minutes; reduce the heat to 175C and bake for 30 additional minutes.
And the final step in pumpkin pie – prepping and eating!
I realized as I was making the sweet potato casserole and, more importantly, the pumpkin pie that I, the consummate baker, had somehow let myself run out of ground ginger! Luckily I had fresh ginger from last week’s carrot soup – but what was I thinking?