I love looking around the house for ingredients we aren’t using, or need to use up, and figuring out how to put them together into something interesting. Here’s a silky pudding I made last night:
Blue Moon Pudding
(serves 4, or 2 hungry people)
- one envelope (.25 oz) unflavored gelatin
- 1 3/4 cups (total) unsweetened blueberry juice
- 2 T sugar
- A few ice cubes
- 8 oz sweetened yogurt (vanilla, honey, maple, etc.)
- fresh blueberries
Pour 1/4 cup cold blueberry juice into a medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle the envelope of gelatin on top and let it bloom for a couple of minutes while you bring 1 cup of the blueberry juice to a boil.
Add the sugar* and then the boiling juice to the gelatin and stir until both sugar and gelatin are dissolved. Add the remaining 1/2 cup cold juice, and two or three ice cubes, and stir. Cover and put in the refrigerator.
Check and stir every 15-20 minutes until the mixture just starts to set and smoothly coats the back of a spoon; various factors can cause this amount of time to vary quite a bit.
Add the yogurt to the gelatin mixture. Beat on the medium speed of a hand mixer for two minutes, or until well-mixed and a bit frothy. Refrigerate again, checking every 10-15 minutes, until partially set—it should mound slightly when spooned.
Spoon into serving dishes, alternating in layers with fresh fruit. Refrigerate another half hour or until set. Note that this won’t set hard—it remains a soft-set pudding, which is what gives it such a silky texture. So don’t try to turn it into a molded dessert (unless you want to mess around with adding extra gelatin).
If you’d like, add a small bit of whipped cream on top before serving.
*I recommend the sugar because natural, unsweetened blueberry juice needs a small amount of extra punch to bring it up to dessert level, in my opinion. However, since different juices, brands, etc. vary so much, I recommend you taste your juice and vary the amount of sugar accordingly. If it’s particularly sweet, ditch the extra sugar altogether. If it’s a dark, bitter juice like acai, or a sour one like lemon, add more.
You can create an almost infinite variety of these desserts by playing with different juices, fruits, and yogurts. Feel free to mix-and-match—for instance, you might prefer to use blueberry juice with fresh raspberries. I believe pineapple juice is one of only a few that isn’t supposed to work with gelatin in this manner, but most juices will. Of course you can also use artificial juice drinks, but I figure, why go to the trouble to start with unflavored gelatin in that case—you might as well get pre-packaged Jell-o. The use of gelatin plus juice lets you create a less sweet, less artificial dessert.
I made the pudding this way because I was trying to fix a summer fruit & gelatin dessert that didn’t use heavy cream or whipped topping—I wanted it to be light. That said, I’d imagine it would work quite well to fold whipped cream or whipped topping in before adding the fresh fruit to make a pie filling or Bavarian cream type dessert. You could also make layered parfaits where you layered pudding, fruit, whipped cream or topping, and repeat.