I wanted to make a dessert to bring on a visit yesterday but its hard to cook when your entire living room is in your kitchen. I needed fast and easy with ingredients that I could actually get to.
At first I thought a pudding pie, but then there's always a risk that the pudding won't set enough. You wind up with a tasty but unappealing looking mess. Individual custard cups with crust on the bottom and pudding on top would have been nice but they wouldn't transport very well.
Finally it clicked, make pudding and a crumbly crust that could be sprinkled on top of the pudding at serving time! I could even reach the tapioca that I wanted to use!
I used the recipe on the back of the box adjusting it to make it vegan. I made two batches, one vanilla and one chocolate. I subbed soymilk for milk, 1 Tbs ground flax seed for egg and 3 Tbs cocoa powder plus 3 Tbs canola oil for the 3 squares of baker's chocolate (that was not to make it vegan, it was because I didn't have baker's chocolate in the house).
Ground flaxseed may not be the best choice esthetically because it does show in the vanilla, however, it looks a lot like shredded vanilla bean. No one complained about it and I would used it again.
Now for the crumbly crust. I took my inspiration from an apple crisp recipe and the crust in Company Pudding recipe in The More With Less Cookbook. It's a combination of oatmeal, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and canola oil. I had to make it twice though, since I burned the first batch to cinders. (I got distracted when the rug installers finally arrived and didn't hear the oven timer going off.)
Would you believe I even started to burn the second batch? There was just too much going on as we tried to move furniture back into place and rehang pictures on the wall. (If you're wondering why the pictures had to be rehung, the installers asked me to take them down so they didn't knock them off the wall when they used the kicker to stretch the rug into place.) Fortunately, I caught it in time to rescue most of it.
As fate would have it, the vanilla version was a bit watery so I was pleased with my decision. Topped with the crumbly topping, it was hardly noticeable and it tasted very good. The chocolate set up beautifully. Personally, I thought the topping tasted better on the vanilla than the chocolate but people enjoyed it on both.