[Photograph: Erika Shafer]

Help yourself to a slice of pudding (and pie) with this old-fashioned treat from Mother Daughter Dishes. A crushed pecan crust is topped with a layer of sweetened cream cheese, then a layer of vanilla pudding, and finally, vanilla whipped cream. It firms up beautifully in the fridge, with a mouthful of textures to please the palate.

Tips: This dessert is mostly foolproof, save for one thing: whole milk. In order for the pudding to set successfully, it needs to be thick. Using something lighter than whole milk doesn't guarantee that it will set up properly, which runs the risk of runny filling. Plus, the layer of whipped cream requires something firm to rest on. As for the texture of the pudding, whipping cold milk with cornstarch until it's fully incorporated minimizes lumps.

Tweaks: Although vanilla is lovely, we can't help but think that a lemon puddin' 'n' pie would be even more refreshing. To do that, sub the vanilla extract in the whipped cream and pudding for lemon zest. Lemon and pecans are a dramatic juxtaposition, moreso than nuts and vanilla.

As always with our Bake the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Mother Daughter Dishes to give away.

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