Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Quatro leches (Four milk) pudding

Would you ever be able to guess what it's like to have too many cans of condensed milk? All stockpiled on pantry shelves, neat tucked in spice cupboards, even taking up that useless space under a stairwell closet, and occupying more real estate in your life than needed? Can you fathom that to ease the ordeal the thought of a special room dedicated for their housing needs, enters your head more than once? Of course not! Because maybe you don't know the sale banner stories in that canned aisle and bright red sticker tops that bring out the compulsive in me, to where I overbuy, often wiping out a shelf, maybe two. Needless to say there will always be more cans than I can use, lest fear grip me on losing control of my existing and very secret supply (Shhh!). Hello again and welcome to my world.

Condensed milk. My best friend before the inevitable JZ era (possibly still so, though lack of that knowledge won't hurt him) and in those dorm and college days of lore, it was my partner in sweet crime, half cupfuls made base for some astoundingly yum, syruped up coffee, with the "extra spill" spooned directly into this very happy mouth. For quite the time, even a glass of milk wasn't spared, for it was the wee spoon of The Sweetened One that would awaken Regular's almost milky taste. Sounds fanatical? It was and obsessively so. Until I woke up and learned of Condensed's other features, and could not limit the potential and go further at such a one dimensional rate ( though it was good, while it lasted). After setting it free, it beckons greatness and glory, shining through and beyond in countless desserts, my favorite go- to of all tinned sweet makers.

For it is a good day, where I'm one out on my knows- no- end pantry staple after this here dialogue, and a recipe that leaps straight from the pages of my confessional, The C. Milk Hoarder 's Written Manual. No worries though, this single note changes, henceforth, and the ode does not end on the sweetened, condensed version alone. Our tune today is amped several fold, that too by more purist-friendly dairy inclusions. It is the most epic combination of the calcium endowed, four times worth, thus creating the splendor of the day's dessert conclusion.

This no-bake, soft-set treat happens with almost equal portions skim and condensed (I pair them together in hopes of the wholesome note spreading from the one to the other), heavy cream, and final do- a- dollop of dulce de leche ( forgive the tongue twister hopeful). Then there is that one that distincts itself, the layer not be left out, the FFC (Factor of Fantastic Crunch), given here in the smashed and buttered forms of more than 20 arrowroot cookies. Fantastically simple. I hope you are impressed.

This is a conglomeration of tastes and styles of the wet type pudding, served over and again, in many parts of Kerala. It shares close proximity to the signature creamed pineapple custard, dainty dished, and plattered at socials, weddings, and "must-be-seens" that require event planning. But in spite of my shameless wannabe riff, this is not a custard. Not even be my feeble replication of  the take- out moss pudding types, purchased at the local bakehouse, and popularized by my father- in- law on the nights he "took on" desserts. Nostalgia can take me thus far.

Let me tell you, this four milk pudding has more than quatro scope. It is the save-or-scream blueprint for many swapins/outs which could yield you advantageous results. I'm already envisioning Oreo cookie crusts, seasonal summer fruits, hints of ginger, maybe even a lemon/lime twist all in its future. A pudding to take the rest to task, with scores of possibilities, not having you ever counter the thought that it will be anything short of abundantly delicious.

Pudding ~
  • 1 c skim milk
  • 1 c heavy whipping cream
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ c cold water
  • 2 ¼ tsp or 1 pkt gelatin 
  • 1 14 oz. can crushed pineapple
  • In heavy bottomed saucepan, heat through milk and whipping cream until near rolling boil. Add condensed milk and allow the three to combine and heat thoroughly with the rest.
  • Turn off heat. Mix in vanilla. Set aside.
  • Take cold water in small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over it. Allow to bloom and gelatin crystals to fully dissolve.
  • Blend gelatine into milk mixture. Pour in crushed pineapple and combine all ingredients well.
  • Spoon into cups or pudding molds a little over halfway in each one.
  • Allow to chill for about 15 minutes until semi set.
Biscuit topping~
  • 1 pkt Britannia Arrowroot cookies( also known as Marie/Maria biscuits)
  • 6 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • Roughly crush up the Marie biscuits in processor. Don't let it powder though, there needs to be enough crunch texture. Take out and add butter, and sugar. Blend with fingers until thoroughly moistend.
  • Keep aside.
  • 1 14 oz. can dulce de leche
  • ½ pint strawberries, chopped
Pudding Assembly~
  • Take out chilled and set pudding ( it should be set on sides with a slight wobble).
  • Spoon a tablespoon or two of dulce de leche on top of pudding. (if too thick, microwave at 70% power for 10 seconds).
  • Sprinkle 2-3 tbsp of crushed cookies over dulce.
  • Refrigerate and serve cold.
  • Top with  chopped strawberries when ready to serve.
Notes~ Layer this any way you want. I feel the above to be best because you get the distinct texture of the crumbs to stand out against the silkiness of pudding. You can even repeat and do layers in a large trifle like bowl.
Don't have dulce? Don't worry! Here are some ways to make it at home.

This pudding has been refashioned and made over and again, with likeminded ingredients added in and taken out, but never forsaking my can of Condensed. The trial runs would result in different equations, each and every time. I've accompanied cream cheese with the others, for custard sauce in fruit salad, and I thought it so good, it was my entry in the little cooking competition I briefed in more than a few years ago.

Like condensed milk? So do I! See for yourself-  here,  herehere,  here and here.

A visit back, same time, last year, almost~ Cauliflower Egg Rolls.

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;  your rod and your staff,  they comfort me." Psalm 23:4 (NKJV)


  1. Oh Tisa! that looks sooo good.I love anything made with condensed milk :)

  2. I hope you never put on weight, with the way you've been gorging down bottles of condensed milk!!! this looks so so good... yummmm....

    1. Yes, I know, reality hits when I wake up the next morning unable to see my toes. Thank you Rafeeda!

  3. Love this simple yet elegant desert..stunning toppings

  4. Looks toooooo yummm. perfect for parties

  5. Mmmm...this looks SO tasty!!

  6. Beautifully presented,looks elegant and yummy ..will try sometime:)

  7. A simple and beautiful dessert with great taste!! :)

    Choc Chip Uru

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  9. Oh yum, this looks and sounds so delicious!

    1. Thank you and love the name, blueberry kitchen :)

  10. wud just luv to grab one glass right from there! lovely , Tina. and..hey! do drop by my new blog - pick quicks when u get the time...glad if u wud be a follower there as well.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!