I don’t know about you, but I had never seen fruit pudding made from scratch until I saw blackberry pudding tarts in Southern Living’s Classic Southern Desserts. The idea intrigued me, so I had to make it last week when strawberries went on sale for Valentine’s Day. Creamy, tangy fruit with the richness of pudding could almost pass for breakfast. The dollop of orange-scented whipped cream on top takes you to strawberries ‘n cream heaven.
I like to serve the pudding in shallow ramekins to maximize the pudding to whipped cream ratio in each spoonful. But, I’ve also served them in cute tart shellsbecause I can’t get enough of ’em lately.
Makes 2 ramekins.
8 oz. strawberries (frozen are fine)
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon orange juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For the whipped cream:
5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar
In a small saucepan, add the strawberries, water and orange juice over medium heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes once the water simmers, mashing the strawberries as they soften. When the mixture is homogeneous, strain in through a sieve to remove seeds and pulp. Press down on the strawberries to get every last drop of juice. You should end up with 1/2 cup of strawberry puree.
In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly whisk in the strawberry puree. When no lumps are visible, pour the mixture back into the small saucepan and turn the heat to medium low. Cook while stirring continuously. When the mixture comes to a bubble and thickens, turn off the heat. Add the butter, stir until melted, then stir in the vanilla. Pour into 2 ramekins, pressing plastic wrap directly on the surface, and chill for 4 hours before serving.
When ready to serve, whip heavy cream and orange zest until beginning to thicken. Add 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Taste; if desired, beat in another tablespoon of powdered sugar. Dollop on top of the puddings and serve.
Christina Lane is the author of 3 cookbooks all about cooking and baking for two. She has scaled down hundreds of recipes into smaller servings so you can enjoy your favorite dishes without the leftovers! Valentine's Day is her favorite holiday.