Thai Tea Pudding
Thai tea is one of those absolutely delicious things that few people realize is so easy to make at home. All you need to do is visit your local Asian grocer, or hop on the internet, and pick up a packet of Thai tea mix. Steep it, add a bit of sugar, and then top with half and half, and voila: homemade Thai tea just like your favorite restaurant.
Homemade pudding is similarly simple, and a wonderful way to whip up a dessert using only things you probably already have in your cabinet. All you need to do to make a wonderful homemade pudding is simmer milk, corn starch, and flavorings to the proper temperature and then give it a little while to fully set in the refrigerator.
This recipe takes those amazing Thai tea flavors and puts them into a dessert which is both familiar and exotic, while also being easy to make ahead and have waiting in the refrigerator to cap off an amazing meal.
Thai Tea Pudding
3 cups milk
¼ cup Thai tea mix
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup corn starch
2 tbsp butter
A pinch of salt
Make a steeping bag out of cheesecloth for the ¼ cup of tea mix, or put it in a device made for steeping loose tea.
Simmer 2.5 cups of milk with sugar and tea mix in a saucepan over medium-low heat for 6-8 minutes, until the tea is nicely steeped. Do not boil. Remove from heat and discard the tea.
In a small bowl, mix ¼ cup cornstarch and ½ cup of cold milk. Stir to mix well.
Test the temperature of the tea-steeped milk. Corn starch cooks at around 165 degrees, so the mixture must be below that temperature before you mix in the corn starch. If you let the pan sit for a few minutes, it should cool to 155-160.
Pour the cornstarch slurry into the pot with the steeped milk, whisk well, and then return it to the stove over low heat.
Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, and watching the temperature. At around 165 degrees it will begin to thicken, becoming quite cooked by 170. At this point, remove it from heat.
If you don’t have a thermometer, you can tell the pudding is cooked when it is suddenly thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Add the 2 tablespoons of butter and pinch of salt. Stir together until the butter is melted and mixed in.
Pour the pudding into individual serving vessels if desired, or into a large serving bowl. Put this in the refrigerator for at least a couple hours to cool and set.