There is nothing more relaxing than preparing a make-ahead dessert when you are going to have a big get-together over the weekend after a hectic working day. Whenever we have gatherings, whether big or small, we ensure that we make at least two types of sweet endings in the form of puddings or kheer/ payasams, though it is the first variety which is normally preferred. Normally the planning of this section is duly handed over to me as umma prefers taking the responsibility of planning the main course, which she does very easily, MaShaAllah... :) If you ask me my preference, I always love to go for making the trifle pudding
as it is really appreciated among our guests. :)
Yet another make ahead dessert that I really love to make is custard, loaded with fruits and nuts. It is so easy to make, yet a large bowl served comes back literally licked, that you wish you would have made more. I have always been deprived of eating it whenever I made this, so nowadays I ensure I keep a little bowl for myself before passing it to the gang to be attacked... hehe...
Fruits and Nut Custard
1 liter milk
4 heaped tbsp custard powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 big tin (500 gm) mixed fruits
1/2 cup mixed nuts (cashews, pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts), chopped coarsely
1 tsp rose essence/ vanilla essence (optional)
Combine the custard powder, milk and sugar in a saucepan and bring to boil. Cook till the custard thickens. Cool completely.
Drain the mixed fruits tin and put the fruits, nuts and rose/ vanilla essence into a mixing bowl. Add the cooled custard and mix well till combined. Cover with cling film and chill for a couple of hours before serving.
You could definitely make this with fresh fruits - apples and bananas need to be chopped and mixed with some lemon juice to avoid discoloration. You can use mangoes, peaches, grapes, pomegranate... the list is endless! It is better to avoid citrus fruits for making this dessert. The use of canned fruits is only to speed-en up the process!