Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pomegranate Pecan Pudding Crunch

[If you missed it, make sure to check out my first Pomegranate post here]
Round 2 of our pomegranate series leaves us with some extra cinnamon tart dough, a little meringue, and barely any damage done to the pomegranates [OR PECANS!]. So let's mix it all together and make some pudding with awesome texture. I have personally never been a huge pudding fan...but then again, I have never tried a lot of different puddings [except for the chocolate ones that jello makes] So the idea of trying a fresh fruit pudding sounds, well, fresh and exciting to me!... So i decided to make a traditional custard pudding. Which, coincidentally, is also a boiled custard [remember our discussion on custards here]. In this recipe, the thickening agent is eggs [like usual with all custards] but also contains cornstarch for added body and thickening power. When you combine cornstarch[some people use plain flour] with any liquid it is called a slurry. [Slurry's are used in all sorts of different cooking methods- many times to thicken sauces to accompany meats, and are a traditional way to thicken the drippings from turkey to make gravy!- HELLO Thanksgiving!] When you add sugar and eggs to the slurry it becomes a liaison. A liaison is a thickening agent used in cooking. So a slurry is always a liaison, but a liaison is not always a slurry. Make sense?...back to the recipe for today :]

Alright, well, since the pomegranates worked so well with the cinnamon crust, I knew that they would have NO problem blending together with a caramel-y pecan crunch! So here's a pudding recipe that can work with any fruit juice, and can actually be served warm OR cold! [check it out- ever had HOT pudding?] I chose to serve this pudding with a crunchy caramel bottom inside of their own bowl - a tart shell. you can, however, serve it in small cups, bowls, or however you like!

Cinnamon Tart Dough
Butter: 4 oz
Sugar: 8 oz
Egg: 1 ea.
Flour: 12 oz
Cinnamon: 2 Tbsp

1. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy [yes. i said "fluffy" Chef Haymon]
2. Add the egg and mix until incorporated
3. Add flour and cinnamon and mix until a dough forms- do not over mix!
You can wrap this dough and keep it in the fridge or freezer, and take it out and roll it whenever you please, or you can go straight into rolling it out right away! [which is what I did] 
Roll your dough out about 1/4" thick and line your tart molds with it. You can make mini tartlets like I did, or make one big tart! it doesn't matter the shape, and you don't have to have a "tart" pan. You can use cupcake pans for mini tartlets, or just a regular cake pan to make a large tart. I am using small aluminum foil cups for these.

Caramel Pecan Crunch
Pecans: 1/2 C [chopped]
Sugar: 1/2 C
Butter: 2 Tbsp

1. Combine all ingredients together in a small bowl and rub together in between hands to disperse the butter and sugar around the nuts.
3. Fill the bottom of tarts with a spoonful of this mixture
4. Bake at 350 F 10-15 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the crunch has begun to bubble. Allow to cool.

Pomegranate Pudding
Pomegranate Juice: 10 oz
Sugar: 3 oz
Corn starch: 1 oz
Egg yolks: 2 ea

1. Combine 90% of your milk and 1/2 of your sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil.
2. While that is heating up, mix together the rest of your ingredients [sugar, eggs, cornstarch, juice- also called a "liaison"] with a whisk in a bowl.
3. Once the liquid comes to a boil, stream half of it into the liaison while whisking constantly.
4. Return the pot back to the stove and stream the mixture into the pot over medium heat, constantly mixing.
5. You will notice the mixture begin to thicken as you whisk- do NOT stop whisking while it is over heat [it will burn quickly if you do so]
6. Once the pudding begins to boil, it is done!
You can serve immediately, or wait for it to cool and then serve cold! :]
I piped my pudding into the tart shells on top of the caramel crunch, and then garnished by piping a little meringue around the edges, sprinkling fresh pomegranate seeds, and place a pecan on top. Hope you get a chance to try this easy custard!!

Baked tart shell with the caramel pecan crunch in the bottom

Pomegranate Pecan Crunch Pudding

Inside view <3 yumm

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