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“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s culinary arts program. In the previous two “Kitchen” recipes, technical specialist Tom Alicandro presented a Mediterranean-style salad and a summer chicken dish. Today, he wraps things up with dessert — vanilla pudding

From the SCCC Kitchen: Pudding gets a boost

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
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“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s culinary arts program. In the previous two “Kitchen” recipes, technical specialist Tom Alicandro presented a Mediterranean-style salad and a summer chicken dish. Today, he wraps things up with dessert — vanilla pudding


Fresh Berry Parfait prepared by SCCC chef Tom Alicandro.
Photographer: Marc Schultz
Fresh Berry Parfait prepared by SCCC chef Tom Alicandro.

— Hasty pudding means tasty pudding in Tom Alicandro’s recipe book.

“A lot of time, people don’t have time to make dessert,” he said. “Berries are coming into season now, so you can make this literally in five minutes and it looks like you’ve spent a lot of time on it. But you don’t have to.”

Strawberries and blueberries are layered into the pudding, which can be purchased premade in supermarkets. That’s the time saver — people can spend a few more minutes in the kitchen if they want to make pudding from scratch.

Serving the dessert in a wine glass adds elegance. Alicandro said the move also lets chefs show off the red, white and blue colors of the foods.

Extra flavors are other options. “Some people soak their berries in amaretto or Grand Marnier, anything like that if you’re doing a fancy party,” Alicandro said.

Vanilla Pudding With Fresh Fruit

For pudding:

1⁄2 vanilla bean

4 cups whole milk

1⁄2 cup heavy cream

1⁄2 cup sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1⁄8 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 cup cornstarch

4 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into a saucepan. Add the vanilla pod, milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon stick and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat, cover and steep 15 minutes.

Whisk the cornstarch and egg yolks into a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the warm milk mixture, then pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until thick, about 3 minutes. Stir in the butter. Pour the pudding through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Let cool slightly.

For fresh fruit:

1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, dried and sliced

1 pint fresh blueberries, washed and dried

1 tablespoon sugar

Place just the strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle the sugar over them. Rest 20 minutes. In a parfait glass or a wine glass, layer strawberries, pudding and blueberries. Repeat.

Top with your favorite whipped cream or topping. Serve chilled.

 
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