By Tejal Rao
November 2006

» Recipes

Restaurant chefs are
recreating classic puddings reminiscent of childhood but pudding nostalgia depends entirely on where you’ve spent the most time eating pudding. If the answer’s the US, your puddings might be tender rice or tapioca, held together by rich custard or simply a chilled flavored custard to be eaten with a spoon. If the answer’s Britain or one of her former colonies, your puddings might be a rich cake steamed in the oven and moistened with beef suet or layers of bread and fruit baked in butter, eggs and milk.

But despite its homely connotations, pudding's familiar textures and flavors can easily be reworked into a composed dessert that triggers pudding memories without the associated cloying sweetness or richness. Rita Garruba of Butterfield9 surprises with a Plum Pudding that takes the shape of a summer pudding rather than the heavy Christmas style studded with dried fruits. Garruba gracefully builds the pudding in rings with brioche and fruit and balances a scoop of sake sorbet on delicate sesame tuiles. Jennifer Giblin of Blue Smoke takes on the classic English Sticky Toffee Pudding, individualizing square portions for an elegant presentation and off-setting the intense sweetness with sour crème fraîche. Caitlin Kelly of Vidalia pays tribute to three classic American puddings in her sophisticated trio For the Love of Pudding.


For the Love of Pudding
Pastry Chef Caitlin Kelly of Vidalia — Washington DC

» Sticky Toffee Pudding
Pastry Chef Jennifer Giblin of Blue Smoke — New York, NY

» Plum Pudding with Sake Sorbet and Sesame Sticks
Pastry Chef Rita Garruba of Butterfield9 — Washington DC