By Midge / Serves 4
WHO: Midge lives in Boston and is a journalist specializing in travel. She says, “Cooking, especially baking, is my way of winding down after a long day.”
WHAT: A rich pudding that has just the right balance of bitter and sweet.
HOW: Starting the water bath with cool water, rather than hot, cooks the pudding very gently, giving it the most incredibly silken, glossy structure.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Puddings thickened with cornstarch make great comfort food, but Midge’s luxurious caramel custard, which uses egg yolks as its only setting agent, elevates pudding to dinner party fare. As with any egg-enriched custard, the key is careful tempering. As for the caramel, be sure to brown it as far as your nerves allow.
Midge says: “So far, one of the best parts about living in Boston is my proximity to Toscanini’s burnt caramel ice cream. I’m not even that into ice cream, but this flavor, with its slight bitter edge to cut the richness, is cracklike. I attempted to capture it in a pudding, and after incinerating a lot of sugar, I think I finally got it.”