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Orange and Moscato Pudding


Serves 4

  • 2 oranges, zested and cut into suprêmes (See note below.)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (preferably Meyer lemon)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • Tiny pinch of salt
  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup dessert wine (I use Moscato with oranges. A Riesling also works.)
  • 1 teaspoon nice quality vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whipped cream (measured after whipping) or mascarpone, for garnish (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (easily collected while making suprêmes, if you do it over a bowl) (for the optional garnish)

If making a whipped cream or mascarpone topping, reserve 1 tablespoon of the wine, and 1 to 2 teaspoons of orange zest.

Mix the zest of the lemon and of the orange with the sugar. Add the cornstarch and the salt and stir well to combine. Add ¼ cup of cold milk and stir well, to dissolve the cornstarch and remove any lumps.

Put the bottom of a double boiler on the stove and heat several inches of water until it starts to simmer.

Meanwhile, scald the remaining milk. (I do this in the microwave in a 2 cup measure.)

Off the heat and in the top insert of the double boiler, beat the egg yolks.

Very slowly add a few drops of hot milk, whisking all the while. Continue to add hot milk, no more than a few drops at a time and whisking constantly, until you’ve added about ½ cup.

Strain the egg and milk mixture back into the vessel holding the rest of the hot milk, and pour the combined egg and milk back into the top of the double boiler.

Set it over the simmering water in the bottom part of the double boiler, making sure the bottom of the top insert does not touch the water.

Heat the egg and milk mixture for about a minute, stirring constantly, very gently.

Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and continue to stir.

After a few minutes, the mixture should start to thicken.

Very, very slowly, add a few drops of the wine, stirring gently but continuously. Add a few more drops and continue to stir. Keep adding a bit of wine at a time, stirring gently between additions, until you’ve added all of it. Then add the vanilla and stir some more.

Continue to cook, stirring continuously, for another few minutes, just until the mixture thickens.

Remove from the heat, continuing to stir for a few more minutes as the pudding starts to cool.

Press a piece of plastic wrap on the top of the pudding as it cools, until ready to serve.

Divide the suprêmes evenly between the dishes, then top with pudding. If not serving right away, cover each dish with plastic wrap, if you don’t care for the “skin” that will form.

Mix the reserved wine and juice into the mascarpone or whipped cream. When ready to serve, drop a small a dollop on each dish, then top with the reserved zest.

Enjoy!! ;o)

N.B.: I recommend Cara Cara oranges for this. Murcotts — which actually are sweet tangerines — are also a great choice. I’d use three instead of two of the latter, if they are small. ;o)

N.B. As noted above, the basic proportions are from Mrs. Rombauer’s Orange Custard recipe in the 1943 edition of “The Joy of Cooking.” The method of stirring some cold liquid into the cornstarch mixture, and the admonition to stir very gently, I learned from a book I stumbled on at the library some time ago, called “Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages.” According to its author, Anne Mendelson, vigorous stirring while cooking a pudding can break the starch links that form to thicken it. ;o)


By AntoniaJames

Author Notes: Years ago I discovered the simple elegance of a classic “Weinschaum” (wine pudding), in my well-used, battered 1943 edition of “The Joy of Cooking.” Wine pudding seems somewhat one-dimensional, though, not to mention that it takes forever to make. This pudding borrows the idea of using wine (in this case, a dessert wine) to transform Mrs. Rombauer’s orange custard recipe — without the baked meringue. The orange suprêmes in the bottom of each dish give the pudding a pleasant freshness, making it the perfect winter dessert. Be extra careful when using wine in custards, as it will instantly curdle the milk if you’re not extremely careful. Dribble it in, ever so slowly. Depending on the dessert wine you use, other fruits can easily be substituted. I’ve also made this using Meyer lemon zest and raw-packed blueberries that I put up last summer; it was just as tasty, but very different in character. Enjoy!! ;o) – AntoniaJames —AntoniaJames

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