Budyń: Polish Vanilla Custard / Pudding

Kisiel Mleczny, Budyń

When it comes to a simple, no-bake dessert, there is one old-fashioned showstopper that wins everyone over, every single time. And that’s Budyń (pron.: ‘boo-dee-ñ’), a Polish-style custard.

There are a lot of variations, but at its most basic, Budyń is traditionally made with a mixture of sugar and milk, combined together and thickened with potato flour. Sometimes eggs are added as well. 

It’s cooked on the stove (by heating very gently in a saucepan), though Budyń can also be steamed or baked in the oven with a water bath.

For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know below.

The term ‘Budyń’ (originating from the French ‘boudin’) was once used for a very different dish. Pre-war Budyń recipes resembled the babka cake, with a hole in the center. In terms of technique, a loose mass was sealed in a special mould and then submerged into hot water.

In essence, it was a steamed soufflé cake – savoury or sweet.

Somewhere along the way, a dessert that was once known as ‘Kisiel Mleczny’ (Milk Kissel), adopted the ‘Budyń’ name. Why and how – it’s hard to say, I failed to find the answer in any of the publications.

Do you need any special ingredients or equipment to make this Polish-style Custard?

No, everything should be easily accessible in any major supermarket. 

Vanilla bean pod offers most flavour, but you can swap it for a vanilla extract.

There’s no need for special equipment, but a whisk will be useful.

How should you serve this Budyń?

Budyń looks great when served in fancy dessert glasses. The most old-school way to serve it is with a splash of thick raspberry syrup, or a spoonful of raspberry preserve. 

But there are no limits here, you can garnish your Budyń with fresh berries and currants, nuts, seeds, whipped cream, chocolate shavings, mint leaves, caramel sauce, coconut flakes, dried fruit…

Can you make this Polish-style Custard another way?

Yes. The recipe below is for a homemade Vanilla Budyń. But there’s another very popular flavour out there.

To prepare chocolate custard, just add 3 to 4 tablespoons of natural cocoa at the very beginning of the process. After thoroughly mixing and following the remaining steps, you will get a delicious chocolatey Budyń. 

What diets is this Budyń suitable for?

This recipe is meat-free. If you use solely potato flour, it will become gluten-free as well.

How long can you keep this Polish-style Custard in the fridge?

Once served, don’t keep it out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

To store any leftovers, wrap the container with cling film, or move the custard into a container with a lid and store for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze this Budyń?

Sadly, this Polish-style Custard does not freeze well. It has a tendency to separate and turn lumpy.

Smacznego!

Polish-style Custard / Pudding (in Polish: Budyń)
Budyń - Polish Custard

Budyń: Polish Vanilla Custard / Pudding

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ vanilla bean pod, can sub with ½ tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups + 2 tbsp (500 ml) whole milk
  • 5-7 tsp sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp potato flour, can sub with cornflour or cornstarch
  • 3-4 tsp raspberry syrup, for serving, optional

Instructions

  1. Cut half a vanilla pod lengthwise and use a knife to remove the beans. Set aside.
  2. Boil 1.5 cups (350 ml) of milk, together with vanilla beans and sugar. 
  3. Whisk the remaining cold milk with egg yolks and potato flour. Add to the boiling milk, stirring quickly with a whisk, so that no lumps are formed. 
  4. Bring to boil, then cook together for about 1 minute - stirring continuously, until the custard thickens.
  5. Take the Budyń off the heat and pour it into individual dessert glasses or bowls. 
  6. Serve hot with a few drops of raspberry syrup. If it’s to be served cold, cover it immediately with cling film, so that the foil touches the custard’s surface. This way, the milk film won’t form on the top. Leave to cool, then refrigerate. Serve cold.

Notes

  1. Vanilla Bean Pods can be pricey, you can use half a tablespoon of vanilla extract instead.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 353Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 354mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 13g

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Kasia Kronenberger

Kasia Kronenberger is the founder of Polonist, where she celebrates Poland’s very best food.
She’s a self-taught home cook, who – through her own culinary attempts – wants to show you how to recreate Polish flavours at home, wherever that is.
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