Couscous and Orange-Caramel Pudding Recipe

Makes: 6 servings

Couscous enriched with egg yolks is a quick alternative to rice pudding. To transform this humble pudding into a dinner party dessert, I pour it into little ramekins and garnish with caramel sauce.

INGREDIENTS

Orange-Caramel Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

Pudding:

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, chopped
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. To make the caramel sauce, bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small heavy saucepan and continue to boil until it turns a light amber color. Do not stir. If part of the syrup is turning darker than the rest, gently tilt the pan to even out cooking. When the syrup is a uniform amber color, stir in the heavy cream with a long-handled spoon. Be careful, because it will bubble up. Transfer to a heatproof measuring cup and stir in the Grand Marnier. Let cool, then transfer to an airtight container. It will keep at room temperature for up to 1 week
  2. To make the pudding, bring 1 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, and the salt to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Stir in the couscous, cover, remove from heat, and let stand until the milk has been absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork to separate the grains.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla, and orange zest in a medium-size bowl. In a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, heat the remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk until just bubbling around the edges. Slowly drizzle into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the couscous pot. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until the pudding just starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.
  4. Gererously butter six 6-ounce ramekins and divide the pudding among them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
  5. To serve, run a paring knife around the edge of each pudding. Place a dessert plate over each, invert, and tap on the bottom until the pudding releases. Reheat the caramel sauce until warm but not boiling hot and pour over each couscous pudding. Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and serve.

Excerpted from Icebox Desserts, by Lauren Chattman. © 2005, used by permission from The Harvard Common Press.

This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.