I have to preface this post with a little info. Although the Redwall series was written by BrianJacques, a Brit, I’ve gone with an American style pudding for this recipe.
Don’t get me wrong. I think a British style boiled pud, with stewed, spiced apples, doused with a rich creamy custard sauce would be just the thing. Heck, I’d eat half of it myself. But I’ve fallen prey to that devious, creeping monster that can take anyone by surprise…
You see, as a child, I was a picky eater. And I mean SUPER picky. PB sandwiches and Mac and Cheese were pretty much my entire food pyramid (I’ll be honest, they’re still the base of the pyramid…). But I was in love with the Redwall series, and the descriptions of food in those books made even my mouth water. A cluster of friends and I decided, somehow, to throw a Redwall feast. We dressed up, made quite a few dishes from the books, and even made a replica of Redwall Abbey in gingerbread (GingerbRedwall Abbey- it was epic). It was my very first foray into fictional foods.
There was a pudding in that feast that I’ve never gotten over. I suspect it was just some instant vanilla pudding with some applesauce or some such stirred in, but to my untried palate, it was phenomenal. 20 odd years later, I’m still thinking about it. And that’s why I’ve leaned more toward the pudding of my childhood than what the author probably had in mind. Perhaps one of these days I’ll sort out the other version, as well.
To my nostalgic mind, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to recreating that childhood pudding, but it’s still not quite there. I blame the elusiveness of memory. My husband, however, who never tasted that bygone dessert, and isn’t even much of a pudding fan, loved this recipe. Without knowing it was inspired by Redwall, he suggested serving it with a hazelnut biscuit and fresh berries, and that’s such a completely Redwall pairing that I consider it a success. ;)
Apple Cream Pudding Recipe
Cooking: 20 minutes Chilling: 1 hour or more
Makes: about 4 good sized servings
Pairs well with: hazelnut biscuits and fresh berries
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 Tbs. arrowroot or cornstarch
- 2 egg yolks
- pinch salt
Pour the milk, and apple cider into a medium pot over medium heat and bring to just under a boil. Add the vanilla and honey and stir for a few minutes to allow the honey to dissolve.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, cornstarch, egg yolks, and salt. While still whisking, pour a little of the hot milk into the bowl to temper the mixture, then pour everything back into the pot. Cook for around 5 minutes more, stirring all the while, until the mixture has thickened noticeably. Remove from heat, strain into a clean bowl, and cover with plastic. Chill for at least an hour to help the pudding set.