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1/2 c. sugar
6 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
4 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
Try serving this simple budget-friendly cornstarch pudding in wineglasses layered parfait-style with fresh berries. (I had always wondered what a blancmange was after seeing that Monty Python skit where a fellow was described as "Not so much a man as a blancmange.") Note: This is a "stir constantly" kind of recipe. Have the time and the focus to stand there at the stove. Bring a book.
(And by the way, the name is French - say it "blah-mahnj".)
In a saucepan or the top of a double boiler, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
(If you have access to powdered vanilla – vanillisocker as our Swedish friends call it – add 1 tsp. here. Alcohol-based extracts get added at the end after removing the pan from the heat: alcohol dramatically lowers the boiling point, so adding it while on the heat can make things quite theatrically boil over.)
Whisk in the milk, a little bit at the time, taking care to keep the mixture smooth. If you end up with lumps at this stage, it's rough to smooth them out.
Place the double boiler over boiling water or the saucepan over medium heat. Now stand by and stir. Bring to a boil and allow to cook until thickened enough that pulling a spoon through the mixture leaves a path, 15 minutes at least.
Pour the hot, thick mixture into individual serving dishes or into a single serving dish and place in the refrigerator to set up.
To layer with berries parfait style, wait until the pudding has cooled, then alternate layers of pudding and berries in a tall glass.
Submitted by Gretchen Grant Contributed on: and modified on Monday May 10th, 2010
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