Thursday, August 12, 2010

Surprise Pudding with Meringue

Sometimes I like to create recipes that have the element of surprise to the. I'm not talking about Pickled Pine Bark, Jalapeño Caramel Sauce, or Tuna Fish Jellies. I'm not talking about the strange or unusual that dare you to try them. Or avoid  them like the plague! In this case, the recipe has zucchini in it. I have used the white part of the zucchini you see when you peel the vegetable. I have then shredded it and cooked it down in pineapple juice to give it that flavor. Zucchini is like the kid in school that follows along with anyone, no matter what they are doing. It's neither strong, nor original, so it likes other influences.

This is my second recipe with zucchini as a surprise ingredient. I have an abundance of them and I just like trying things out. It's fun. These were really good and I encourage you to try them. They are easy.

Surprise Pudding with Meringue
For filling:
2 cups coarsely gated zucchini, peeled and seeded
3/4 c. pineapple juice
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
Put all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a low boil and simmer for 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.

For pudding: 
1/2 cup sugar (I used vanilla sugar.)
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 egg yolks (Save the whites for the meringue.)
1 can coconut milk
1/2 - 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut, flaked or shredded

In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cornstarch together.
Stir into the pineapple mixture.
Add 1 1/2 cups coconut milk. Stir well.
Continue stirring as you increase the heat to medium. You are waiting for this to thicken .
When it begins to thicken, remove it from the heat.
Beat the egg yolks.
Whisk a small amount of the pineapple mixture into the yolks.
Keep adding the hot mixture to the yolks very gradually while stirring.
When you have added about a cup of the mixture, you can pour the egg mixture into the pineapple mixture.
Slowly add the rest of the can of coconut milk while stirring.
Place it back on the heat and warm until it is a nice smooth, slightly thick consistency.
Stir in coconut.
Pour into 6 small, oven-proof bowl.

For meringue:
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 Tablespoons sugar (Vanilla sugar is great here!)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla (if not using vanilla sugar)

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar.
Add the sugar, gradually once the whites begin to foam.
When egg whites are shiny and form stiff peaks, they are ready.
Divide the meringue evenly between the six bowls. You can cover the pudding with it, or just pile it it in center. It looks nice to take a small spoon and try to lift peaks. This is done by gently lowering the back of the spoon to the meringue and pulling straight up. You should have peaks.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, but do not let the meringue over-brown.
** Note: You're life will be much easier, at least the pudding part of it, if you put all your small bowls on a pan for oven handling.

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