Milk pudding is something me and my brother always made together when we were kids. In those days, the pudding came in a sachet and all you had to do is to add some sugar and milk. The original pudding had only few flavours – vanilla, chocolate, banana and raspberry and we often made several flavours together layering them in a large bowl. The best thing was, that we knew that once it sets in the fridge, it was ours to devour!
Today’s recipe is my grown up version of this milk pudding, infused with elderflowers which are now in season. You can serve the pudding with a dash of undiluted elderflower cordial or something like a lemon curd would go beautifully together too.
In case you’ve never made a milk pudding before, the consistency is like a blancmange. But my recipe, unlike a traditional blancmange recipe, doesn’t include gelatin. Instead of gelatin, I use cornstarch.
This makes this pudding not only suitable for vegetarians, but also much cheaper and quicker to make than the traditional blancmange.
If you use plant based milk, your vegan friends will be very happy too! In the last few years, I realised that my body is better off without milk, so I’ve used lactose-free milk.
You can use any kind of milk, but it will change slightly the flavour of the pudding. Elderflowers have quite a delicate flavour, so if you are using plant based milk, I would go for rice or almond milk. Coconut and soya milk could overpower the flavour. And of course, any ‘normal’ milk is absolutely fine too!
To flavour my milk pudding, I’ve used fresh elderflowers (about 5-6 small heads) but you can also use thick elderflower cordial or syrup (about 2-3 teaspoons depending on the strength.
You are also welcome to use elderflower essence (about 1/2-1 teaspon, depending on the strength), but the whole point of making this pudding is to use my foraged plants I bring home from my country walks.
One practical note about the cornstarch in the recipe. The cornstarch is best mixed in smaller amount of milk first and then added into the rest of the milk. Because it can be quite difficult to make the whole thing nice and smooth I use a metal whisk for the whole process. It makes things much easier.
As you can see from the photos, I’ve used a tiny bit of green food colouring, but this is optional and you can definitely leave it out.
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Elderflower Milk Pudding (Blancmange without gelatin)
- 500 ml milk any type of milk
- 6 tbsp cornflower approx 45 g
- 3 tbsp sugar approx 45 g
- tiny pinch salt
- 5-6 elderflower heads smaller ones
- Pour the milk in to a large saucepan and bring gently to a simmering point. Don't boil!
- Place the eldeflowers in the milk – flowers down and leave to infuse for about 20 minutes.
- Pour the milk and elderflowers through a fine sieve and discard the elderflowers.
- Pour about 1/3 of the milk into a large jug or a bowl.
- Add the cornstarch to the milk in the bowl and mix with a whisk until it's completely smooth.
- Add the sugar and tiny pinch of salt to the saucepan with the majority of the milk.
- Bring the milk slowly to the boil, stirring occasionally and making sure that the sugar has dissolved completely.
- When the milk is nearly simmering, pour the remainder of the milk with the cornstarch in and continue to stir with a whisk. Work fast, as the mixture will thicken very quickly at this point. Carry on boiling until bubbles appear on the top and the whole mixture is nice and thick. This usually doesn't take more than a minute.
- Pour straightaway into pudding bowls or glasses and leave a little gap on the top for elderflower cordial, lemon curd or any other toppings.
- Leave to cool down at room temperature and then place in the fridge for a further hour or so.
- Best served on the same day or within 2-3 days (max). Keep in the fridge and serve straight from the bowl or gently turn out on the plate.
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