When I was a kid, I would never choose vanilla pudding if given the option of that versus chocolate. I always found it bland, but then I realized it was because A. it was never made from scratch and B. never had real vanilla in it. As an adult, I realized it was really easy to rectify both of those situations. I happen to love the intensity of vanilla bean paste in this application. It gives it such a nice flavor boost over extract, and it’s easier (and cheaper) than a vanilla bean. I tried the new Simply Organic Vanilla Bean Paste and really enjoyed the flavor. Take that, kid version of me!
- 2 ¼ cups (540 grams) milk, divided
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 egg yolks
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
Make the pudding:
- In a medium mixing bowl, add about ¼ cup of the milk and whisk in the cornstarch until combined. Whisk in the egg yolks and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the balance 2 cups of milk with the sugar and salt and set over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
- Slowly pour the milk into the egg mixture, a little at a time, whisking constantly to temper the egg yolks. When combined, pour the mixture back into the pot.
- Whisk the mixture as it comes to a boil and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens to pudding-like consistency that thickly coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla bean paste or extract. Pour into a clean bowl, cover the top with plastic wrap, making sure to press down on the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Stash in the refrigerator until completely cool.
- Once cool, divide into serving cups. Balance can be refrigerated and stored up to 3 days.