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Spiced pudding with rum-soaked raisins and candied pecans. You on board?
I haven't made a dessert in a while, and with fall officially here I am so in the mood! It's not obvious yet on the blog, being new and all, but I love baking and making desserts. From my first successful cheesecake years ago, which led to making several for a workplace party, to the first layer cake I made for a family birthday, I've loved baking. Desserts are special, beautiful, and often a wonderful creative outlet. Not to mention, they usually accompany festive, happy occasions.
But truth be told, I think this is my first foray into Rum Raisin anything. It's not a flavor I've ever been super into, you know? I have to say, though, this pudding is doing a number on me. I just may be rum raisin's newest convert! I'm usually more of a vanilla/chocolate/caramel/nuts sort of person, while Mark is the fruity-dessert lover. But when you think about it, rum raisin really is in a class by itself. Boozy, warm, and sometimes accompanied by spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. In other words, it's a very different sensory experience than, say, stone fruit or berry desserts, which are often tart.
And with the addition of candied pecans, this recipe is starting to sound more and more like my kind of jam! In my pre-vegan days, I used to make spiced nuts every year around the holidays. That old recipe called for an egg white for some silly reason. I now know the egg white was totally unnecessary and that making these vegan candied and spiced pecans couldn't be easier, as you'll see below. The recipe makes more than you'll need for topping the four servings of pudding, but I don't think that's gonna be a problem. 🙂 Heck, you should probably just bump it up to two full cups of pecans, and enjoy the bounty.
For the pudding, I used a combination of unsweetened soy and almond milks because that's what I had, but you can use any type you like. If you really want a creamy and decadent pudding, opt for full-fat, canned coconut milk. Soy and almond produce a creamy, almost custard-like pudding, somewhat similar to flan, which I really enjoy.
I always find it delightful (albeit in a snarky, slightly vengeful sort of way) to make creamy, thick, rich, dense, custardy vegan desserts, since many people still think dairy and eggs are the only ways to achieve such textures. Pshaw. With coconut, nuts, starches, sea vegetables, and fruits, we have our ways! For vegan pudding, cornstarch is the most common thickener, but arrowroot starch is also an option (though I haven't tested it in this particular recipe). I generally try to keep the ingredients in my recipes as common and approachable as possible. Certainly for this recipe, any grocery store will have what you need.
I'll wrap up now by saying, happy fall, welcome to baking season, and stay tuned for cake!
If you make this easy Rum Raisin Pudding I would love to hear about it! Leave a comment here or tag @myquietkitchen on instagram.
Rum Raisin Pudding with Candied Pecans
For the pudding:
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup spiced rum
- 1/2 cup organic sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp corn starch
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/16 tsp freshly grated nutmeg or 1/8 tsp if using pre-ground
- 3 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk, such as soy, almond, or coconut
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the pecans:
- 1 1/2 cups raw pecans (makes enough to have leftovers!)
- 1 Tbsp vegan butter, melted, optional
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Soak: Combine the raisins and rum in a small bowl and soak for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.
- Make the pudding: First, drain the raisins and set aside (reserve the rum for a delicious cocktail). Combine the sugar, corn starch, cinnamon and nutmeg in a sauce pan. Over medium-low heat gradually stir in the milk. Cook for about one minute to bring up to temp. Stirring frequently, reduce heat to low and cook until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla and about 2/3 of the raisins, reserving some for garnish. Pour into a quart-size dish or 2 to 4 smaller, individual serving bowls (makes 3 cups of pudding). Refrigerate uncovered until firm, 2 to 3 hours.
- Make the candied pecans: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Spread the pecans on the pan. In a small mug, combine the butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Pour mixture over the pecans and mix well. Spread pecans in a single layer and bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven, stir, and bake an additional 10 minutes. Allow to cool on the pan.
- Serve with candied pecans, remaining raisins, and coconut whipped cream, if desired.