Neo Puddings

Pudding On The Ritz – Get Ready to ParTAYE

Make Dozens of Recipes – They’re Almost Instant

Mom was expert with the sensible desserts of the 50’s—rice, tapioca, and bread puddings. They were always at-the-ready and they met [barely] our sweet end of dinner

As the years progressed instant desserts lured her. Jello® to the rescue, [although my sibs and I were never fans of clear Jello]. It needed to be creamy! And Presto! Jello evolved instant puddings. These too have lost favor (and flavor). By fate I had over a year of sequestering at home to rethink the joy of a good pudding. I will awaken you not with a whimper but with a bang!

These are the times to bring puddings back into the present! Could I deconstruct boxed puddings with just a few pantry ingredients? Could I turn juices or fresh fruits into any kind of luscious pudding? You bettcha! And I made them low-fat, and mostly vegan beauties!

Now if I see a bottle of mango nectar at Trader Joe’s, bang! I make Mango Puddin. I harvested fresh pineapples from my garden and, pow, Piña Colada Puddin. It knows no end in sight! There’s rarely a time I don’t have a cold, creamy, and sweet-tart puddin to end a meal or enjoy as a snack. Zounds! Whisky Sour Puddin with Apples and Walnuts!

It took umpteen tweaks and trials, but I am happy to share Pantry Puddins

Got Juice, Got Nectar, Got Fresh Fruit?

Here are some of my quickest puddins

Juice Puddins: Pomegranate, Cranberry, Tart Cherry, Key Lime, Lemonade

Nectar Puddins: Mango, Apricot

Puréed Puddins: Blackberry, Pineapple, Watermelon, Kiwi, Orange, Tangerine

Introducing the New Puddin Supporting Actor:

I need you to gather a “new” pantry thickener from Asian or International markets. It’s called “agar” also known as “agar-agar.” It’s a thickener made from seaweed!

[You can also substitute gelatin for agar

Simple Instructions


INGREDIENTS: Be accurate with your dry ingredients for good thickening results

Dry Mix:

  • agar – 1/2 tsp
  • corn starch – 3 TBS
  • salt – pinch
  • spice – most any cookie spice or combo: nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, clove
  • turmeric powder – [optional for a splash of yellow]

Wet Mix:

  • For Clear Puddins – 2 cups juice, nectar, or purée
  • For Creamy Puddins – Reduce juice by 1/2 cup and replace with: plant based milk*, half n half, or heavy cream [You need a creamy textured milk alternate. Rice milk is too thin]
  • 2 TBS rice vinegar or lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract [on occasion]


To make enough for 4 batches just multiply each ingredient by 4 and store in a sealed jar. Then use 2 TBS + 1 tsp for each pudding recipe


  1. Combine the wet ingredients and taste: adjust so you get a sharp taste profile [think lemonade] of sweet and tart
  2. In a small pot mix together the dry ingredients, then whisk in about a 1/2 cup of the juice and thoroughly dissolve, then add the remaining wet mix ingredients
  3. Bring to a simmer, then pour into a serving bowl or individual dishes
  4. That’s it! Pour into a serving bowl or individual dessert dishes. Cool, then refrigerate for several hours

Some Intriguing Puddin Properties

IMG_1543If after you chill your puddin and the texture is not right, reheat to temporarily return to a liquid. Then dilute with more juice or add a little more thickener.* Simmer then pour back into bowl and it will reset.

* Always dilute the thickener in a bit of cold liquid before adding to a hot pot to prevent lumps.

The Art of the Puddin

  • You can layer different puddings for multi-flavored or multi-colored desserts by reheating and pouring one puddin atop another chilled pudding for both bi-color and taste combos. Think kiwi under watermelon Puddin to create a faux slice of watermelon [don’t forget the raisin “seeds.”]
  • Cut up fresh or dried fruit, or candy bits to drop in to build texture and intrigue.
  • To serve, layer spoonfuls of pudding between whipped cream or other toppings: think parfaits.
  • I even add tiny spoonfuls of ice cream or previously frozen puddin “ice cubes” to a still warm pudding so it will melt in place and create a little hidden “pond” —adding a delectable surprise.
  • Here’s a real winner: fill individual ramekins halfway with pudding and chill. Create a pocket in the center and spoon Irish Cream or Tia Maria liqueur into the pocket, then cover with more warm pudding before chilling. Don’t tell your guests!
IMG_1718 2
Note the frozen cube of Strawberry Puddin hidden in a Tart Cherry Puddin!
  • Puddins made from bottled juices usually need an extra punch of sweet-tart. That is an easy to-do. Taste the puddin after it comes to a simmer and adjust using vinegar, lemon or lime juice, and/or sugar. When tasting you want an exaggerated sweet-tart “smack!” Make sure that happens! Puddins need this flavor boost to make them bloom into exciting desserts.
  • If you have fruit with seeds—like blackberries, or strawberries—you may prefer to purée and then push through a fine mesh strainer before starting.
  • turmeric- optional. If you want to shout “yellow!” add an 1/8 tsp. turmeric powder.
  • liqueur, spirits- add 2-3 TBS. of rum, whiskey, bourbon, Bailey’s Irish cream, etc. to build excitement. I add them off heat to preserve the alcohol “sting.” But you can simmer to burn off if you wish.
  • If using very clear juice—void of pulp—like apple or pomegranate, increase corn starch to 4 TBS [to compensate lack of pulp]
When adding the coconut cream the puddin’ has become Mars for a second!
  • Pudding-Mango
  • If adding bits of fruit, or other items, lay them on the top of the pudding.
  • [While testing the puddin above I added zones of delight with bits of: chocolate, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, chopped dates, and candied ginger in the center].
  • It’s fun to top with a dollop of Greek yogurt, or whipped cream

My Repeat Favs!

Mango Coconut Puddin

Use the creamy puddin recipe above. I love organic mango nectar blend at a Trader Joe’s. To 1 1/2 cups nectar add 1/2 cup coconut cream [not low fat] and then follow the directions above. I grate in some lime zest, too.  The topping winner: bits of candied ginger!

Mango Puddin with Candied Ginger

Other Pantry Puddins I will make again:

Mango Creamsicle Parfait with Brandy Cream Recipe

Pomegranate or Cranberry Juice Puddin [Gorgeously deep red with a tart punch like cranberry sauce. I use this for a quick color and flavor punch to a meal, just like cranberry sauce.


Key Lime Puddin – Sooo Good!

  • fresh lime juice- 6 TBS (3 oz)
  • coconut cream- 4 TBS (2 oz) [not milk]
  • lime zest- 1 tsp
  • water- added to above to make 2 cups
  • sugar- 3 TBS [or to taste]
  • salt- 1/8 tsp
  • agar- 1/2 tsp
  • corn starch- 3 TBS
  • turmeric- 1/8 tsp

See standard instructions above to complete.

Tart Cherry-Almond-Ginger Puddin

When making puddins, taste during the heating stage and adjust for a sweet-tart “lemonade” sharp flavor. Use rice vinegar, or tart citrus juice.

Another great find is pomegranate molasses, it’s perfectly sweet-tart right out of the bottle

Deep, Cherry Pie Memories in a Bite
  • Tart cherry juice – 2 cups
  • almond extract – 1 tsp
  • Wet mix [see above]
  • Dry mix [see above]
  • Extra corn starch – 2 TBS
  • Dried sour cherries – 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Candied ginger – 1/4 cup, chopped

Puddin Parade!

Lemonade Puddin with ice cream in hiding [another scoop of puddin will seal the deal
Berry Purée Pudding with Yogurt and Crumbled Cookies

Cherry Puddin Parfait

With layers of Greek Yogurt, Peaches & Pecans

[See recipe above; use tart cherry juice for the fruit juice ingredient]

For Sunny Lemonade Puddin, that smacks of vegan lemon curd

Intense Lemon Curd Flavor
Lemony Curd uses Turmeric to Turn Golden

Mango Puddin Frozen in a Popsicle Mold
Piña Colada Pineapple Puddin with Star Anise

Check back often as I am creating new recipes. If you create one to share please contact me on this site.

Search Cookshare “Puddin” Recipes for the next, next versions.

©2021, Bill Hettig. All rights reserved

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