Course : Custards
Serves: 6
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2 teaspoons Almond extract
1 Cup Almond amaretti
6 tablespoons Butter
1 3/4 Cup Lt brown sugar -- firm packed
---CHOCOLATE--- --
1/2 Cup Sugar
8 ounces Chocolate, semi- or bitter sweet -- finely chopped
---CITRUS---- --
1 tablespoons Zest from tangerine, orange, lemon or lime
---COCONUT---- --
3 3/4 Cup Coconut milk
1/2 cup Toasted sweetened shredded coconut -- garnish
---COFFEE---- --
1 tablespoons Espresso powder
2 Cup Fresh fruit
2 teaspoon Liqueur
---MOCHA----- --
1/3 Cup Dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Butter
2 teaspoon Espresso powder
----PINEAPPLE--- --
1 Cup Canned crushed pineapple

Preparation / Directions:

ALMOND: Omit the vanilla bean and substitute almond extract for the vanilla extract. Crumble enough Italian amaretti or other almond-flavored macaroons to equal 1 cup fine crumbs. Stir about 2/3 cup of the crumbs into the pudding along with the almond extract. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the top of the pudding just before serving. BUTTERSCOTCH: Omit the vanilla bean. Increase the butter to 6 tb and substitute 1 3/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar for the granulated sugar. After heating the milk and cream as directed, melt the butter in another heavy saucepan over low heat, add the brown sugar, and stir until the sugar and butter melt together, about 3 minutes. Gradually stir or whisk in the warm cream mixture until smooth. In the top pan of a double boiler, stir together the cornstarch and salt; do not add granulated sugar. Continue as directed in the basic recipe, adding the brown sugar /milk mixture in place of the milk. CHOCOLATE: Reduce the sugar to 1/2 cup. Finely chop 6 to 8 ounces semisweet or bitter sweet chocolate and stir it into the pudding along with the butter until melted. CITRUS: Omit the vanilla bean. Add 1 tb finely grated or minced lemon, lime, orange, or tangerine zest to the milk and cream when heating. Strain the milk, if desired, before adding the sugar mixture. Garnish the pudding with candied peel of the same fruit. COCONUT: Substitute canned or freshly made coconut milk for all or part of the milk and cream. Sprinkle the top of the pudding with lightly toasted sweetened shredded coconut. COFFEE: Stir about 1 tb instant espresso powder into the warm milk-cream mixture. FRESH FRUIT SWIRL: Prepare the basic custard and chill. Puree about 2 cups fresh berries or figs, sliced peaches or nectarines, poached pears, cooked apples, or stewed dried fruit until smooth. Swirl it through the cooled pudding. HIGH SPIRITED: Omit the vanilla bean and stir in Amaretto, Frangelico, Grand Marnier, Kahlua or other liqueur to taste instead of the vanilla extract. MOCHA: Increase the sugar to 1 cup. Add 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process type, along with the sugar. Increase the butter to 1/4 cup. Stir about 2 ts instant instant espresso powder into the warm milk. PINEAPPLE: Stir 1 cup canned crushed pineapple into the warm custard.

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