Amish Pudding

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Amish pudding in Mother's Blue Willow cups.

Amish pudding was as much a part of my childhood as sunrises over rolling hills, brown butter noodles, handmade dresses and curls pulled tightly under a white kappe. It was the thing I most requested in the kitchen, and invariably my mom would give in to my sweet cravings.  Since she was physically fragile during most of my young life (though fiery in spirit when she needed to be), she would turn the stirring portion over to me, as it tired her to whisk the mixture in a constant, rhythmic motion until it started to bubble.

"It's not getting lumpy, is it?" she would question frequently during my stirring process.  Lumps in anything were a serious grievance to her, whether preparing gravy, mashed potatoes or any kind of sauce.  But to serve up this pudding with lumps was never an option, so I stirred my heart out to bring it to smooth consistency.

The reward was worth it.  As I spooned the steaming mixture into bowls and passed it around the table, my mother beamed at me in approval.  We enjoyed every bite, then dad and I took turns scraping the bottom of the kettle for the last bit of goodness.

Vanilla pudding made with brown sugar and served plain in a bowl, or layered in a parfait glass with crushed graham crackers, bananas and whipped cream is an authentic Amish recipe that's been passed down through generations.


Amish Pudding

4 cups milk
2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
3 eggs
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla

In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, heat milk on medium heat.  Meanwhile, whisk eggs slightly in a medium mixing bowl, then add sugar, flour and salt and whisk to a smooth consistency. When milk is steaming, pour sugar/flour/egg mixture steadily into the steaming milk while whisking or stirring constantly.  Continue to whisk, or stir in a figure-8 pattern with a wooden spoon, until the pudding starts to bubble.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Cool. (Note:  when pudding has cooled slightly, press a thin film of saran wrap over top of pudding to avoid a 'skin' forming over the pudding as it cools.)

There are several ways you can eat this pudding.  My favorite way is to scoop it into bowls and eat it while still warm - nothing fancy, just plain, heartwarming goodness.  The traditional Amish way to eat it is to let it cool completely, then layer it with whipped cream, bananas and crushed graham crackers in a parfait glass.

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