Frozen Pudding

Oh, oh: you see, the kids, they listen to the rap music whichgives them the brain damage. With their hippin’, and the hoppin’, and the bippin’, and the boppin’, so they don’t know what the jazz…is all about! You see, jazz is like the Jello Pudding Pop — no, actually, it’s more like Kodak film — no, actually, jazz is like the New Coke: it’ll be around forever, heh heh heh.

So, in keeping with my promise (for suitably small values of promise) from last post, I decided to freeze some pudding and see what I got. Now, I was reminded that pudding pops are a commercial product. I hadn’t thought of this at all when I was writing the last entry, but remembered the slew of jokes about Bill Crosby and pudding pops once I was reminded. I hadn’t heard about them in a while, so I did a quick search to see what the deal was. Apparently pudding pops were discontinued sometime in the late 80’s and weren’t put back on the market until sometime in 2004. I seem to recall some sort of knockoff pudding pop that was wide and more like a creamsicle rather than the pudding pops, which are the same shape as regular popsicles (or at least, are now). It occurs to me that the knockoff things might have been fudge pops, which may or may not be different. It also occurs to me that I never liked them.

Anyhow, I bought some instant pudding mix and some milk last week, intending to eat half and then freeze half. Well, I ended up eating it all, so there was nothing but an empty container to freeze, and that’s no fun. Here’s a fun fact though: Rubbermaid plastic containers (fake Tupperware) have very good tops on them, and are great for making pudding (and I suspect other things made by combining powder + liquid). Just put the ingredients in, shut the top tight, and shake. Pudding mixed faster than with a blender (or whatever). I put it inside a plastic bag just to be safe (I wasn’t sure how good the top was) but I was pleasantly surprised, so you probably don’t need it (thought I take no responsibility for what happens if you don’t use one). So anyhow, I bought some jello pudding cups recently and decided to just freeze one (much like I did with the jello). If you’d like to try this experiment at home, I used the Oreo style pudding cups, which have chocolate pudding on the top and bottom, and a whitish pudding in the middle who’s flavor I could not identify, but can say with certainty that it didn’t taste like the middle of an Oreo (neither did the chocolate for that matter).

When I took it out, the frozen pudding looked about the same as it did when it was at whatever temperature mini-fridges are. I was afraid for a moment that it might have frozen solid, but when I went at it with the spoon, it scooped fairly easily. The chocolate part tasted like a mix between chocolate syrup and chocolate fudge. The whitish part I couldn’t place (I couldn’t figure out what it tasted like unfrozen) but if I had to guess I’d say it tastes like what I’d suspect mousse to taste like. Now, as to texture, here’s where things get weird. If you take little scoops and let them kind of melt in your mouth, they begin to have a very chocolate syrup like texture (I suspect it’d become more pudding like as you wait). If you take a bigger scoop however, the middle melts slower, and gives a very frozen jello like texture (a weird thick jelloey texture that’s hard to describe if you’ve never had frozen jello). This put me off a bit, and made me suspect that the pudding cup may have contained gelatin. Unfortunately I don’t have the box the pudding came in, and couldn’t find the ingredients on line so that’s a mystery that’ll have to wait for me to remember to look at a package in the future (unlikely) or someone to do it for me (more likely, but not much more).

So anyhow that’s it for that. I’m not sure what I’ll freeze next. Someone suggested oatmeal, I doubt that’ll work very well, but It’s better than not freezing anything, so I’ll probably try that.

Apparently freezing jello is one of the top questions on the jellowebsite, so I guess I’m even less original than I thought:

Can I freeze the JELL-O Ready-To-Eat Pudding & Gelatin?

Both Ready-to-Eat and traditional boxed JELL-O pudding and gelatin may be eaten frozen. However, we recommend against freezing pudding or gelatin and then thawing it to be eaten.

From another question:

Prepared pudding should not be frozen; it would become watery upon thawing.

Frozen Jello

How to ruin food in one easy step!

First off, let me apologize for whatever this little thing I do here becomes today. I’m using this as a distraction from an english paper I should be writing that was due like two weeks ago now.

So, the other night I was eating some jello. At some point while I was eating suddenly the words “jello popsicle” popped into my head. Now, I am not one to let such a fantastic idea just drop on the floor. I unfortunately don’t have the facilities to make real popsicles, so I figured the next best thing would be to just stick one of the jello snack cup things in the freezer and see what comes back out. Looking back now I wonder what the hell I was thinking.

I wasn’t sure if jello could even freeze. I realize it’s mostly water and sugar, but don’t forget the magical properties the gelatin imparts on those components. I wasn’t sure if it lowered the freezing point of the water or not. I’m still have no idea if it did or not, but I do know that my freezer is cold enough to freeze it, so that’s a good start. I’m not sure what I was expecting when I put it in there. A big strawberry flavored brick of ice I suppose. Well, when I pulled it out, it was certainly frozen, but it wasn’t hard like ice/a popsicle. It had changed colors though from the deep red #40 to a pinkish color.

When I opened up the jello cup it occurred to me that I had no idea how to eat this thing. It wasn’t on a stick, so I couldn’t eat it like a popsicle (which was the original intent) so I decided on the next best thing – a spoon. I’m happy to say (well, maybe not happy – perhaps I am not disheartened to say) that the spoon was quite capable of extracting the jello from its semi-cylindrical freeze-chamber. Unfortunately what it extracted wasn’t exactly delicious. It tasted pretty much the same, but the texture was just awful. Imagine syrupy gummi bears and you’ve pretty much got what it was like to eat it. Needless to say, I was quite disappointed with the results.

I should’ve realized that it wouldn’t’ve worked because jello doesn’t work like popsicles. When you lick a popsicle you melt it and extract it’s sugar water goodness. When you lick jello you accomplish nothing – jello doesn’t melt, it just kind of…. sits there. You get flavor from it for sure, but you don’t get much else. It also doesn’t work as a sherbet/ice cream/other-frozen-concoction because of it’s awful texture. I will say this, as it melted it seemed to turn back into the jello we all know and love, so at the very least, freezing jello doesn’t seem to harm it in any way. Now, why you would want to freeze jello is beyond me (I realize how ironic that sounds). I have no idea if jello can go bad, and if freezing it can delay that process (sounds like another experiment).

Now, if you think that this one bad experiment will stop me from freezing various random things that weren’t ment to be frozen, think again. Pudding seems the next logical choice. Well, maybe not so much logical as not-so-random. I have no idea what the results will be – I’m not even sure what pudding is, exactly, other than delicious – but I am sure they’ll be mighty interesting :p.

Update! — 01/14/05

So apparently it is possible to make successful jello popsicles. These are sometimes advertised as ‘dripless’ popsicles (something I’ve heard of, but never realized there was jello in them).