Friday, July 23, 2010
You Are Pudding Me On: Blueberry Barley Pudding
On these incredibly hot evenings (even for Florida standards), I have not wanted to bake anything for dessert (even though I am about to die for a cookie) - I mean, it was still 91 degrees at 9:30 Tuesday night! But my sweet tooth must be satisfied, nonetheless. To substitute, I’ve been turning to cooler options: gelato, sorbet, and pudding.
Even though you have to fire up a burner on the stove to make a pudding, it doesn’t heat things up like turning on the oven. Besides, serving it chilled adds a little relief to this oppressive heat. And anything that beats this heat gets an automatic ‘thumbs up’ in my book right now.
If you’ve read anything earlier, you might know that I have this newfound love affair with barley. It’s just one of those things that I never had occasion to cook with until recently. I’ve been substituting barley for rice here and there, but hadn’t thought about dessert until the other night.
On a whim, I decided to make a barley pudding. I had some blueberries that were about to outstay their welcome, so I thought I’d throw them into the mix as well.
What came out was this incredible textural concoction in lavender. The barley stays so chewy compared to the minor bite left in rice pudding that it surprised me. I was prepared to throw in a handful of toasted nuts to give me that syncopated texture combination that I crave, but didn’t see the need. Even after sitting around for a couple of days, the barley still holds that bite. I just wasn’t expecting that. It’s like a tapioca texture on steroids.
I have a friend who is the exact opposite of me when it comes to food texture – she won’t eat anything on the plate if there’s a combination of creamy and crunchy. I don’t get it. She doesn’t know what she’s missing, so barley pudding probably wouldn’t be for her. But if you dig that mix of sensations on your tongue, then try this one.
Recipe: Blueberry Barley Pudding