Savitha of Savitha's kitchen was chosen to send me the mystery ingredient. I was very excited to receive the package but USPS chose to dampen my excitement since the package that Savitha sent got lost in transport. Savitha was kind enough to mail me another package. This time things went smooth and I had the package in my hands in a few days.
I opened the package and there was the mystery ingredient in a zip lock bag and a set of measuring cups (sorry in my excitement I forgot to take a picture of the package). Thanks Savitha for the very useful measuring cups - I sure dont think a kitchen can have too many measuring cups :-) On to the mystery ingredient, a first look at the white crystals made me think it was sugar. I tasted it and it had a fruity flavor. I was confused - I havent ever heard of fruit-flavored sugar. So I decided to shoot an email to Savitha and her reply was that I was way off :-( It wasnt a simple fruit flavored sugar after all. She did provide me with a clue, which is that it is used to make dessert which can be moulded.
My simple brain thought it was gelatin but I have never used gelatin (for obvious reasons, me being vegetarian) and didnt think it wud taste sweet. So with the help of gtalk and a some back and forth guessing game, Savitha did nudge me towards the right answer - it was Mango flavored Pudding mix. I should have guessed but I have never used instant pudding mix before and it never occurred to me !! I was very happy that the mystery ingredient was something I havent used before.
I have been wanting to try graham cracker crust for a pie and so thought a pudding pie will be a good excuse for me to try graham cracker crust as well as make best use of the pudding mix. To make enough pudding mixture for the pie filling, I had to buy some more pudding mix and unfortunately I couldn't find mango flavor. So I added some vanilla flavor pudding mix to the one sent by Savitha and thats how Mango-vanilla flavored pudding pie was born !!
Graham crackers 11/4 cup (about 9 cracker sheets)
Melted butter 1/4 cup
Sugar 1 tbsp
For the Pudding
3/4 cup instant pudding mix(1 2.75 oz packet plus more)
2 cups milk (2%)
1/4 cup pistachio, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
Strawberry and whipped cream, for garnish (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- Crush the graham cracker in a food processor or using a rolling pin, until fine.
- Transfer to a bowl. Add sugar and melted butter.
- Combine until all the ingredients are well mixed.
- Dump this into a greased pie plate. With your hands or back of a spoon spread the graham cracker mixture into an even layer. Make sure to press along the sides of the pie plate so as to get an even layer.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10-15 or until the crust is set.
- Set aside to cool.
- Take 2 cups of milk in a sauce pan.
- Add pudding mix and stir until the mix dissolves.
- Keep it over a medium flame, stir frequently for 10 min or just until it comes to a rolling boil.
- Remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes. It will be a thick liquid at this stage.
- Add pistachios and cardamom. Stir well.
- Now pour the pudding into the prepared pie crust, spread it in to an even layer.
- Arrange the strawberries on top if using.
- Chill in the refrigerator for atleast 3 hrs.
- Serve with whipped cream on top.