Today's recipe for Baked Sunday Mornings is Aunt Sabra King's Pudding Bars, a recipe I most likely never would have tried if it wasn't for the baking group. After all, chocolate pudding on a graham cracker crust just doesn't sound all that interesting. Plus, I was imagining the huge mess that was bound to ensue; I assumed that pudding would never be firm enough to cut cleanly.
The graham cracker crust is a mixture of ground graham crackers, dark brown sugar, salt, and melted butter that is pressed into the bottom of a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. The recipe instructs you to bake the crust for 10 minutes, or "until it is golden brown." It was hard for me to tell when the crust was done, because graham crackers are of course golden brown to begin with. I ended up baking the crust for about 12 minutes; the crust was still soft to the touch when I took it out of the oven, so I wasn't confident that it was fully cooked.
You make the chocolate pudding from cornstarch, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, milk, cream, and whiskey (I left out the alcohol). You are supposed to let the pudding cool for about 20 minutes before pouring it onto the cooled graham cracker crust. After my pudding had cooled for about 5 minutes, I noticed a skin starting to form on top. Since skin is the enemy of pudding, I stirred the pudding for the next 15 minutes while it continued to cool so a skin wouldn't form. I poured the cooled pudding onto the crust, smoothed it out with an offset spatula, and set the bars in the fridge to firm up.
I really loved these bars, and the fact that they were so easy to make was a bonus. They deliver simple, clean, delicious flavors.
Recipe: "Aunt Sabra King's Pudding Bars" from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.