Sunday, August 10, 2014

Homemade vanilla bean pudding

Remember how I made vanilla pudding a few months ago that was just... meh? Well, I finally found a good vanilla pudding recipe that will wipe away that disappointing memory.

This recipe from smitten kitchen combines two pudding techniques - it uses both cornstarch and eggs as the thickening agents. Most pudding recipes call for either cornstarch or egg (yolks, mostly) but Deb decided to use both methods together for an uber-creamy and rich dessert. Smart move.

Addie had a blast making this with me. She pulled up her step stool and whisked the pudding while it was on the stove. We talked about how the liquid would thicken after we kept mixing. Sure enough, the mixture turned into a thick pudding after several minutes of whisking. Addie was so excited and proud of herself. My favorite memory was seeing her face when I let her lick the spatula afterwards.

Because I used heavy cream, my pudding became super thick after refrigerating it overnight. It was so thick that the consistency was slightly off (it became a bit more solid). Regardless, the pudding was phenomenal, and the 3 of us ate all 6 servings in the matter of two consecutive days. The pudding was very rich, creamy and bursting with vanilla flavor. The aroma was to-die-for. This will be my go-to vanilla pudding from now on, in case you're wondering. (If you're more of a chocolate person, this dark chocolate pudding is outrageous.)

Homemade vanilla bean pudding
  • 2 and 2/3 cups whole milk, divided (I used 2 cups heavy cream and 2/3 cup of 2% milk)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 vanilla bean (save the pod)
  • 1 large egg
Directions
In a small saucepan, boil 2 cups of the milk/heavy cream over medium heat.

Using a paring knife, split the vanilla bean pod down the middle but be sure not to cut all the way through. Using the blunt side of the knife, scrape the seeds out. Save the pod.

While the milk/cream is boiling, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt and vanilla bean seeds together in a medium sized saucepan.

Add the vanilla bean pod to the small saucepan with the heated milk/cream.

Gradually add the remaining 2/3 cups milk to the medium saucepan with the sugar mixture and whisk well to make sure there are no lumps.

Once the 2 cups of milk/cream comes to a boil, take it off the stove and whisk it into the medium sized saucepan. Put the medium saucepan over the stove and keep stirring as the mixture heats up. Continuously whisk so lumps do not form.

The mixture will thicken up after several minutes. Once it has thickened to pudding consistency, transfer to 6 small bowls or ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Allow the pudding to chill completely before serving. Pudding should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator and will keep for several days.

Yield: About 6 servings

Source: Ever so slightly adapted from smitten kitchen

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