This is truly an old-fashioned dessert. It’s homey and comforting. It’s also delicious. It’s a basic recipe, you’ll be able to find elsewhere. This is from my mother’s recipe file, though delicious, I couldn’t resist updating it…just a bit. I haven’t made this in years. And I really mean many, many years. I simply forgot about it. I made it as is…the basic recipe and it turns out that The Latin Lover, loved it! I’m making another one today. But, as is the habit of The Goddess, she decided to “update” it a bit, adding a handful of fresh blueberries and a few drops of orange oil (make certain it’s for internal consumption, please). Yup! She just couldn’t leave it alone. And you know what? He likes this version even better!
I suspect one of the reasons this is so beloved, is it’s simplicity. It goes together in a flash—bring the milk and cream to a simmer. Turn off the heat, stir in the Grape-Nuts and walk away for 15 minutes. Beat a couple of eggs, the extract and the sugar together, add a little of the hot liquid to the eggs (this is called “tempering the eggs”), stir it up well, then pour it back into the remaining milk mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined and pour into a buttered baking dish; sprinkle lightly with cinnamon or nutmeg…not exactly lightly, is it? You’re going to bake this in a hot water bath. A hot water bath, or bain marie, is simply a slightly large pan than the dish with the custard in it. I’m using an aluminum pan, which will turn dark (stainless or glass won’t), if you do this…but, by dissolving 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar in the water, the pan comes out shiny clean! Bake until it’s just not quite set in the center. In my over that was about 50 minutes. Check after 40 minutes. Let cool for about 30 minutes and serve. You may also serve this cold…I’m not certain which way I prefer it, warm or cold. Sooooo, I guess we’ll just have to keep trying eating it at various temperatures! It’s very nice with a dollop of whipped cream, or just a pour of heavy cream.
Old-Fashioned Grape-Nuts Pudding with Blueberries
- For the Basic Pudding:
- 4 cups milk
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup Grape-Nuts cereal
- 4 large eggs
- Scant 1/2 cup sugar
- 2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or Vietnamese cinnamon
- 1 large handful blueberries or raspberries
- A few drops of orange or lemon oil
- For the Bain Marie:
- Cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350°F; butter a 2-quart baking dish (I prefer a deeper dish).
Heat the milk and heavy cream, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, just to the simmer; watch closely so it doesn’t boil over. Remove from heat; stir in the Grape-Nuts and let cool 15 minutes.
In a medium-size bowl (or the 2-cup measure you used for the milk), beat eggs with sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add 1 cup of the slightly cooled milk mixture to egg mixture; stir well. Pour into the remaining milk/Grape-Nut mixture; stir to thoroughly combine; this process is called “tempering” the eggs. Pour into the prepared baking dish; sprinkle with the blueberries (they will float). Dust cinnamon (or nutmeg) over the top.
Set the baking dish into a deeper pan. Place in the oven and pour water (about 1 1/2 cups), mixed with 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (be careful not to get any water into the custard) into the roasting pan, to reach about halfway up the side of the dish; this is a bain Marie or water bath.
Bake until almost set in the center, 40 – 50 minutes. The center of the pudding should jiggle very slightly, when you gently shake the pan. A knife inserted into the center should come out clean. Let the pudding set atop the stove for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve plain, with whipped cream or a simple pour of a little heavy cream. You may also drizzle with a bit of honey or a bit of orange marmalade, or another preserve that you like.
NOTE: You may omit the blueberries and orange oil; it will still be wonderful. I think raspberries or diced strawberries might work, too.
Old-Fashioned Grape-Nuts Pudding with Blueberries Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020. All rights reserved.