As regular readers of my blog no doubt know, it is an understatement to say that I am pretty into chocolate. But sometimes you just want something simple, creamy, and lightly sweetened, and on those occasions, nothing beats a bowl of vanilla pudding.
I’ve tried a dozen renditions of tofu pudding, and while I admit I kind of have a sick thing for its grainy texture and earthy flavor, I know that some people have mental blocks when it comes to bean curd. I’ll be the first to say I love the stuff, but come on, vegans! Though my musical tastes might lead you to believe otherwise, it ain’t the nineties, so update your cookbooks already. Tofu doesn’t have to be in everything!
There are packaged vegan puddings on the market as well as animal-friendly pudding mixes that you just add non-dairy milk to and cook, but a basic cornstarch pudding is super simple (and cheap!) to mix up at home. There are just two important rules of cornstarch-based pudding:
1. Never ever add plain cornstarch directly to a hot liquid. It will clump and leave awful chewy lumps that you’ll never be able to pick out in a million years. Seriously.
2. Once you’ve poured your hot pudding into a vessel, do not break the skin of your pudding until it is completely and thoroughly cooled and you are ready to eat it. If you cheat and sneak a bite or two before it sets, the rest of it will quickly break down into a soupy liquid. Just wait it out; your willpower will be rewarded.
Got it? Promise? Then you’re ready to proceed:
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 2½ c vegan milk, divided
- ⅔ c sugar
- 2 tbsp vegan butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a small bowl, whisk together ½ c vegan milk and cornstarch.
- Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together remaining vegan milk and sugar.
- When mixture begins to steam, add cornstarch mixture.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to thicken and just reaches a boil, about 5 minutes.
- Turn down heat to very low and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until thick.
- Turn off heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract.
- Pour into a 1-quart dish or 4-6 (heat-resistant) ramekins or bowls.
- Cover dishes and refrigerate for a couple of hours, until firm and fully cooled.
- Serve as is or with non-dairy whipped cream and sliced fruit.