In addition to the third cup of prunes that I've put in this bowl, I'm also going to add the juice of one whole lemon. This does a couple things, It helps the cornstarch dissolved.
But it also adds a really important acidic component to an otherwise really sweet and spiced pudding. It balances the flavors out really nice, and it also helps you taste the unique flavor of the prune by brightening it up.
I'm just gonna stir my lemon juice and my prune mixture together. And now that this is combined it's nice and thin and we can dissolve the cornstarch into this liquid mixture.
So I have three tablespoons of cornstarch here that I'm going to add right in and stir until there are no lumps remaining, cornstarch or any starch is really one of the coolest kitchen ingredients you can work with.
because what's happening at a microscopic level is the dissolved starch, as it heats on the stove, each of those starch molecules starts to swell, and they trap water molecules in this suspension.
And so that's what transforms are really liquidy mixture into something that's thicker, like a pudding, Starch molecules are creating this suspension of different groups of molecules leading to something that in your mouth just tastes like a velvety, smooth and perfectly thick.
So you're kind of a scientist when you're using corn starch in your kitchen, and I think that's pretty cool.
I'm setting my corn starch mixture aside into my pot with my remaining prunes. I'm going to add 2/3 of a cup of granulated sugar and then I'm going to add my secret spices.
I developed this recipe and I think that this flavor combination is perfect for the natural, juicy, syrupy sweetness of dried plums.
Those three ingredients are cinnamon, cardamom, and star anise. It's important as you're putting this into remember that we're going to actually remove the star anise at the end of the process.
This is just a woody spice that as it heats in, is exposed to the liquid in the mixture will lend flavor, but you don't want to consume this because it would be like trying to eat a very very intensely spiced bark.
So to my pot I'm going to be adding a half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom, and one star anise.
Alright, and just stir to combine. Now we're going to add our sauce pan with the prunes and the spices and the sugar back to the heat and bring it up to a boil and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
This gives all of the spices the time to kind of flavor everything. It also gives the sugar time to fully dissolve and once all of that is happened, we're going to add our cornstarch mixture and thicken our pudding.
You'll notice that the cornstarch mixture lightens the color, but as it cooks, that white color is going to go away.
You just want to make sure that you keep stirring as it's heating so that none of it burns them sticks to the bottom of the pot.