When I was a kid I loved creamsicles. But I also loved a very simple dessert my dad would make for us when my mom was at her citizenship class, vanilla ice cream with a splash of OJ. Thinking back on those flavors, I came up with the idea of a vanilla pudding using our mandarins as a topping. Made it last night, and I loved it!
2 1/2 cups Milk
1/4 cup Cornstarch, FYI organic cornstarch is available
1/4 cup Sugar
4 Eatwell Egg Yolks
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Salt
2 TB Butter
2 tsp Vanilla extract
3-4 Mandarins, zest before you peel because you will add it to the pudding
Orange Juice or Honey or both
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan add the cornstarch, sugar, salt and gently mix. Add the cold milk, stir well, turn on the heat and begin to cook. I have a tendency to walk away from the stove so I keep the heat rather low and come back to the pot often to stir well. You can cook it on medium high, but stay with it and stir often. The most important thing is once it begins to bubble, you need to be there stirring and ready to turn the heat down to low. Cook a couple of minutes longer until it is nice and thick. Remember stir, stir, stir! Turn the heat off and add the zest, butter and vanilla. Mix in well, then pour into serving bowls. I use small mason jars. For the mandarin topping, cut the mandarins in half so you have complete circles and you can easily get the seeds out. Heat a skillet that is big enough for the mandarins, melt a couple of TB of butter and add the mandarins. I added orange juice for this cooking process, just enough to keep the pan from drying out. Cook a couple of minutes over medium low, then gently flip the mandarins over. If you need to add more butter and or OJ go for it. You want to end up with a lovely syrup to drizzle over everything. Once the mandarins are very soft and you have the right consistency of syrup, taste and decide if you want to add a bit of honey or sugar or leave it as is. When you have it the way you like, top pudding with mandarins halves and syrup. Chill before serving!