For my first post, let me give some background:
I want to start my own hand pie street vendor cart, and I've got a few recipes to get me through fall/winter, but the one essential recipe I can't seem to pin down is a good pudding pie recipe.
I'm remembering Hostess Chocolate Pudding pies here, which I don't believe they make anymore. The pudding was smooth, creamy, shiny, like a perfect cup of Jell-O Pudding in an overly sweet, sugar-coated crust. However, when I make my own pudding from scratch and bake it into a hand pie, it either doesn't set up or becomes coarse (curdled?). I've tried making a custard pudding, or using cornstarch, or using cornstarch in a custard. I've tried boiling, I've brought it to 175, I've tried adding it in (via slurry) after taking the base off of heat. Is the cornstarch getting too hot? Not hot or long enough? Would flour be a better thickener in this case?
I'm guessing that I'd get better results if I deep fried the pies, as the pudding wouldn't get as hot in the 1-2 minutes of frying as it does in the 30 minutes it takes for the crust to bake in the oven, but I'd like to avoid the deep fryer just to keep things simple and "healthy."
Could anyone offer tips on making a pudding that can stand up to the extreme temps of an oven while remaining smooth and creamy?
Thanks in advance!