Separation anxiety, Paul’s farewell, and avocado pudding.

Paul’s leaving town. I am sad.

He’s headed to Montreal for the summer, to boil bagels, maybe, and to return in September, probably. He departs for sunnier skies than ours on Saturday, so Tuesday night Grace had us all over for snacks from below the equator and a lot of sparkling wine. I have been dreaming about the ceviche ever since, and not only to distract myself from the fact that Paul will not be here to bug for three whole months.

She asked me to bring dessert, and I was thinking pudding, because, let’s be honest, if I am not thinking of wine, meatballs, or pancakes, I’m probably thinking of pudding, even when I should be thinking of other things, like the answers to the questions people ask me at cash registers, bus stops, dinner parties, and work. If my face betrays me and you can tell my mind is wandering, you can bring my attention back simply by mentioning some sweet thing with a creamy mouthfeel. Good to know, right?

So to match Grace’s treats, I thought avocado pudding would be the way to go. And it turns out, I was right, though I had to go back and tweak the recipe because though I was certain it would turn out the first time, it was rather runny, and we ended up turning it into a loose ice cream in order to eat it before 11:00 pm. Still good, but not quite right. I’ve since adjusted the recipe, made it again, and re-tasted, and now I think it’s pretty damn near perfect. Paul agreed, and he doesn’t even like avocado. I knew this, but am (charmingly) passive-aggressive.

So, here you go. Another green pudding. Please don’t you go leaving me too.

Avocado pudding

  • 1 small ripe Hass avocado
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Mash up avocado with egg yolks, lemon juice, and salt. Set aside.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, whisk together cornstarch and sugar, then pour in honey, cream, and almond milk, turning heat to medium, and whisking to thoroughly combine. Stir frequently.

Heat slowly until bubbling. Pour 1/4 cup of the bubbling mixture into the avocado mix, and stir quickly to temper. You want to be quick so the eggs don’t scramble.

Pour avocado mixture into pot, and whisk until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Strain through a mesh sieve into a bowl.

Top with plastic wrap (touching the top of the pudding in order to prevent a skin from forming), and refrigerate for three to four hours, until set.

Serve with whipped cream.