Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Sour Grapes...and Pudding!

I wasn't going to toss out the bag of too-sour Green grapes I'd paid too much for anyway. Instead, I made a compote, and then (because that was kinda plain for dessert) I made a vanilla cornstarch pudding to pour it over. That was good call.

To Rescue Sour Grapes:

Make a syrup of 2 parts sugar to 1 part water. Add whatever spices you like-a vanilla bean would be great if you have an old used one lying about, or star anise, or cinnamon stick, etc. I used cinnamon, fresh ginger, and cloves. Make a syrup by boiling the hell out of it until it reduces by 1/3. Add the grapes, lower the temperature to a simmer and cook, just until some of the grapes pop.Remove grapes to a dish, remove spices, and cover with syrup. Cool, then chill. You won't know they were the same inedible sour grapes you started with. After poaching the grapes, look around the kitchen for other things to poach in the syrup. I did pink grapefruit segments which turned out delicious. If you have any syrup left, store it tightly covered in a jar in the fridge and use for flavouring sodas, tea, or just over yoghurt. Or you can make pudding-the recipe that follows is pretty good.

Cornstarch Pudding:

2 cups milk
2 teaspoons cornstarch (cornflour)
1/4-1/2 cup sugar (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter

In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, sugar, salt, egg yolks, and slowly whisk in the milk. Over medium heat, whisking constantly to prevent scorching, cook until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook one minute longer. Remove from heat, beat in butter and vanilla. Pour into a bowl and cover with a round of waxed paper. Cool in fridge. Whip well before serving.

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