Pudding FAIL. Help me fix or salvage my runny pudding?
March 15, 2011 1:42 PM   Subscribe

Pudding FAIL. Help me fix or salvage my runny pudding?

I tried making Bailey's Irish Cream pudding from this Bon Appetit recipe yesterday. I followed the directions exactly - perhaps a bit too exactly, because against my better judgment and suspicions that it wasn't thick enough, I stopped whisking when the mixture reached 160°F. By the time the "pudding" was ready for chilling it was still pretty soupy, but I thought it would firm up in the fridge. No such luck. It's still a soupy mess.

So now the question is how do I salvage this mess to avoid throwing out over 1/2 cup of the delicious nectar that is Bailey's Irish Cream?

It occurred to me what I'm left with is nearly identical to a custard ice cream base and I do have an ice cream maker, so I could use my failure pudding to make Bailey's ice cream. However, I'd really rather have pudding. Can I reheat the mixture and stir in some corn starch (like every other pudding recipe I've made) or is that just a recipe for disaster? Any other delicious suggestions?
posted by geeky to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Did you see the reviews/comments where people were saying that it took much longer than the recipe indicates to thicken up?

If you're going to incorporate cornstarch, definitely dissolve the cornstarch in water first before you add it. Otherwise you'll end up with pasty bits of cornstarch throughout your pudding. Decidedly unyummy.
posted by halfguard at 1:48 PM on March 15, 2011

Maybe you could use as a topping for ice cream or brownies.
posted by tuesdayschild at 1:49 PM on March 15, 2011

You could also whisk some egg yolks in a double boiler and add the heated mixture to temper it and put it back in the fridge. This will give you more of a custard like consistency (more like a creme brulee).
posted by TheBones at 1:50 PM on March 15, 2011

The other thing you could do is whip more heavy whipping cream and fold your bailey's mixture into it to make a mousse. It won't be as intensely flavored as the original recipe, but I bet it will still be yummy!
posted by Kimberly at 2:03 PM on March 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My experience with cooking pudding from scratch is that the time it takes is extremely variable, with little to no rhyme or reason to the actual time required, and thickness being the only reliable indicator of done-ness. I've seen the same exact recipe take anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours to thicken adequately.

Your best bet is to reheat it and slowly cook it until it thickens more (keep stirring so it doesn't burn!). I don't *think* you'll need the cornstarch, although it wouldn't be a bad idea to have some at your disposal as a last resort (follow halfguard's advice and dissolve it first!). Personally, I find Wondra Gravy Flour to be a much better thickening agent than cornstarch for most recipes.

(I have no experience reheating a half-cooked batch of pudding. It might work, it might not. If your alternative is throwing it away, what's the harm in trying?)
posted by schmod at 2:04 PM on March 15, 2011

I'm not much of a cook so I have no cooking suggestions. However, my mother makes her special rice pudding recipe just for me and it sometimes comes out way too runny. I can tell it's come out wrong when she gives it to me in a jar. I just eat it it runny. It still tastes good.
posted by interplanetjanet at 2:13 PM on March 15, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions! I did see the reviews where others have said they had the same problem. I read them a week or so before I made it, so unfortunately I forgot about them until it was too late. I've never made pudding without cornstarch so I didn't quite know what to expect and just blindly followed the recipe. Oops.

The recipe already calls for folding in 1/2 cup of whipped cream (med. peaks). That didn't seem to make much difference in the thickness, so I hesitate to add more.

I think I'll attempt to heat half of it up with some corn starch (dissolved, of course) on the off chance that it's salvageable as pudding. If not, well, I can use the remaining half to make ice cream and I guess we'll just chalk one up to experience.
posted by geeky at 3:08 PM on March 15, 2011

I don't have much baking experience. Could you add fruit and a crust and call it a pie?
posted by aniola at 3:21 PM on March 15, 2011

How about a pudding pie? I forget the ratio, but if you make 1 box of pudding then fold in something like half a tub of Cool Whip, dump the result into a graham cracker pie crust, and freeze it, you magically get a delicious cream pie.

That's probably what I would do, because I'm into cooking right up until someone says "double boiler." A girl's gotta draw the line somewhere.
posted by ErikaB at 3:51 PM on March 15, 2011

With that much Bailey's in the base, I'd be concerned that the ice cream wouldn't freeze properly. I'd probably just try cooking it more as is, then adding cornstarch if it didn't seem to be thickening.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 4:05 PM on March 15, 2011

Response by poster: I tried just heating and whisking for a while, but it wasn't thickening at all. I ended up mixing 2.5 tablespoons of cornstarch + 2.5 tablespoons of Bailey's into the reheated "pudding" mixture. It's still cooling, but it's much thicker now so at least I can pick some up without it running off the spoon. The texture isn't perfect - it's a little grainy - but it'll do. Thanks MeFites :)
posted by geeky at 4:58 PM on March 15, 2011

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