Mint’s been on my mind lately. There’s something about the fresh kick that you get from mint leaves that has me dreaming about ways to use it. Last year I made some fresh mint ice cream that was really, really good and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. The thing is, making ice cream takes so much time and effort and sometimes that just seems a little exhausting. Then I thought of a genius idea that would take less time and give me similar satisfaction. Mint pudding!
I pulled out some fresh mint, ground it with some sugar in my mortar and pestle and I was on my way to some tasty pudding. I also added a few sprigs of mint into my milk mixture so it would further infuse into the flavor. In less than a half hour, I had the lovely scent of mint wafting through my kitchen and homemade pudding at my fingertips. I ran the mixture through a fine sieve and put it in the fridge to chill. A bit later I tried it out and to my satisfaction, my little idea turned out great. The pudding was creamy and minty with hints of vanilla, although I wish it would have been just a tad silkier. But when I told Aaron that, he said the texture let you know it was homemade. He knows how to make me feel better.
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vanilla sugar*
4 sprigs of mint
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups milk
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*vanilla sugar is not necessary, it just adds a little more flavor. if you don’t have it just use regular sugar.
Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl; set aside.
Mix 1/3 sugar and 2 sprigs of mint in your mortar and pestle and grind until mint is finely incorporated.
In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugars, cornstarch, and salt. Very gradually (a few tablespoons at a time) whisk in milk, taking care to dissolve cornstarch. Whisk in egg yolks.
Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the first large bubble forms and sputters, about 10-15 minutes.
Reduce heat to low; still whisking, cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; immediately pour through sieve into bowl.
Stir butter and vanilla into hot pudding.
Place plastic wrap directly on surface of pudding (to prevent skin from forming); chill at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Before serving, whisk pudding until smooth.