If you love no-bake, make-ahead desserts, then this blood orange pudding with graham cracker dust is for you! It’s creamy, tart, and delicious, and it gets a nice kick from a bit of tequila.
Pudding for Grown Ups (and Kids!)
I wanted to make this blood orange pudding taste a bit more grown up, so I added a bit of tequila. You should just get a hint of it, but make sure to use good quality tequila anyway. Otherwise, you might end up with a really funky tasting pudding.
If there are going to be little ones present at your celebration, feel free to omit the tequila. You could also separate the pudding into two batches and make a boozy and non-boozy version of it.
Tequila pairs really well with citrus, so blood oranges were an easy choice. If you have never had them, I guarantee that you’ll love them. They are like oranges on steroids, and they make any dessert look beautiful and festive. Regular oranges will also work for this dessert if you can’t find blood oranges.
Some Tips for Making Delicious Pudding
A lot of people are afraid of making egg-based puddings or custards because they involve tempering eggs. Tempering is just a fancy word for bringing something up to certain temperature. To be fair, this is the trickiest part of making this dessert, so here are some tips for making sure that you get this blood orange pudding right the first time.
- Have all of your ingredients ready and waiting for you. Timing is extremely important when making custards, so make sure that you have everything prepped in advance. There’s nothing worse than running around trying to find a measuring spoon while making sure not to overcook the custard at the same time.
- Keep an eye on your mixture at all times. Custards are all about bringing mixtures to just the right temperature, so don’t walk away from the pot. The good news is that thickening a custard into a pudding only takes around 10 min.
- Use your nose. If your mixture ever starts smelling like scrambled eggs or eggs in general, that means that either the heat is too high or you have cooked it for too long. As long as you take your mixture off the heat as soon as you smell anything eggy, you should still end up with delicious tasting pudding.
- Always temper your eggs before adding them to the rest of the mixture. Nobody wants to end up with scrambled eggs when making pudding. The secret to avoiding this is to add a bit of your warm milk and cream mixture to your egg mixture so that the eggs can cook slowly rather than all at once. This is called tempering, and it’s really that easy!
Blood Orange Tequila Pudding with Graham Cracker Dust
This delicious blood orange pudding gets a kick from a bit of tequila, which you can omit to make the dessert kid friendly. It can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated, so it's the perfect dessert for a Thanksgiving dinner or holiday celebration.
- For the Graham cracker dust:
- 6-8 graham crackers, broken into large pieces
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons of turbinado or granulated sugar
- For the pudding:
- 3 cups of whole milk
- ½ cup of heavy cream
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon of orange zest from one blood orange
- Half a vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup of light brown sugar, divided
- ¼ cup of cornstarch
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
- 1 tablespoon of good quality tequila (optional)
- Step 1 Make sure that you have all of your ingredients ready to go. You will also need a heatproof bowl or measuring cup big enough to fit all the pudding mixture (about 4 cups).
- Step 2 Make the graham cracker dust. Place the graham cracker pieces and the sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it becomes a coarse dust. With the food processor going, slowly add the butter until the dust starts to come together. Don’t over mix it or you will end up with pie crust. Set the dust aside.
- Step 3 Place the milk, cream, zest, vanilla seeds and vanilla pod, salt, and ¼ a cup of the sugar in a medium size saucepan.
- Step 4 In a separate heatproof bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and the remaining ½ cup of sugar. Right before you set the milk mixture on the stove, whisk in the eggs until no clumps remain.
- Step 5 Set the saucepan with the milk mixture over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer while stirring. Take it off the heat as soon as it comes to a simmer.
- Step 6 Take ¼ cup of the hot milk mixture and add it to the bowl with the eggs and sugar. Whisk the two mixtures together until well incorporated. Add another ¼ cup of the hot milk mixture to the eggs while whisking constantly. Don’t add the hot mixture to the eggs without whisking or you might end up with scrambled eggs. This is called tempering.
- Step 7 Place the rest of the milk mixture back on the burner and set it on low. Add the tempered eggs to the saucepan and continue to whisk until large bubbles start to form in the middle of the pan and the mixture starts to thicken. Continue to whisk for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is nice and thick. If at any point your mixture starts smelling like eggs, take it off the heat and continue to whisk.
- Step 8 Once thickened, take the pudding off the heat and transfer it to your heatproof bowl. Add the blood orange juice and tequila and mix well.
- Step 9 Let the pudding cool and then transfer it to the fridge to cool and continue to thicken. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving (overnight is better). Place some cling wrap directly on top of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. The pudding can be made up to 3 days in advance.
- Step 10 When ready to serve, place a layer of graham cracker dust at the bottom of your serving glass and top with some of the pudding. Top with more graham cracker dust and a slice of blood orange.
- Please keep in mind that this type of pudding won’t set completely. It will still be a bit runny, but that is what makes it creamy and delicious.
Here are other easy desserts that are perfect for feeding a crowd:
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