Try Dirt Candy’s Popcorn Pudding For Yourself on National Popcorn Day!
Today is National Popcorn Day! A celebration of that wonderful snack that can be eaten sweet, salty, or just plain popped for a wide range of flavors! Popcorn happens when corn kernels, which have a hard hull and a dense, starchy inside, are heated, causing pressure to build inside the hull until the starchy “corn” of the corn has got to get out–with explosive results. Popcorn became popular in the United States during the Great Depression, because corn was easy and cheap to cultivate, and World War II, when the rationing of sugar caused popcorn to become the most popular snack in the country. It’s the reason why we still love a big tub of popcorn to munch on at the movies!
Last year on National Popcorn Day, I highlighted a restaurant that was utilizing popcorn in a very interesting dessert. The vegetarian restaurant Dirt Candy serves up some great all-veggie entrees, but their dessert–a caramel popcorn pudding–is not to be missed. The sweet taste of caramel complements the popcorn, as we’ve seen in so many boxes of Cracker Jacks, and both flavors can be found in the sweet pudding. Dirt Candy’s got their own cookbook, so if you don’t have the time to head to their restaurant today, you can make their Popcorn Pudding right at home!
1/4 cup (60 mL) popcorn kernels
1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
4 cups (1L) 3.25 per cent milk
1 cup (250 mL) (250 mL) fresh or frozen and thawed corn kernels
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (185 mL) + 2 tbsp (30 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60 mL) + 3 tbsp (45 mL) corn starch
1/4 fresh vanilla bean, split open, seeds scraped or 1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter
1. In large saucepan over high heat, combine popcorn and oil; cover. When popping starts, reduce heat to medium and shake pot continuously on — or just above — element until popping stops. Add milk and corn. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, in small bowl, whisk eggs until well-beaten.
3. In large bowl, whisk together sugar and corn starch. Add eggs. Whisk well.
4. Slowly pour popcorn-milk mixture into sugar-egg mixture, stirring constantly. Pour mixture back into pan. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until heatproof thermometer reaches 165F (74C), about 6 minutes. Add vanilla bean seeds or extract, then butter. Cook, stirring constantly, until back of a wooden spoon is thickly coated or temperature reaches 185F (85C). Remove from heat.
5. Push pudding through fine-mesh sieve using wooden spoon to press mixture down and spatula to help scrape it from underside of sieve into bowl. Discard solids. (This will take several minutes.) Pour into communal bowl or 4 to 6 individual serving bowls.
6. Cool to room temperature. Cover; refrigerate until cold.
I didn’t try to make Popcorn Pudding this week for the national food holiday, but my BF did make his own recipe for a unique popcorn flavor! I’ll be posting that next 😉