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Instant pudding mixes are convenient, and I’m no food snob, but they just don’t compare to a silky and luxurious pudding made from scratch. The good news is that homemade pudding is very simple to make. Once you have the technique down for a basic (yet delicious) vanilla pudding, you’ll have the doors opened for any flavor you can dream.
This pudding uses egg yolks for richness and flavor as well as the traditional thickening agent – cornstarch – to thicken it up.
A homemade vanilla pudding will only be as good as the vanilla you put into it. For this recipe, I used Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste. It is used in the same proportions as vanilla extract, but it has a syrupy-texture that is full of little vanilla bean speckles. I just love how it looks! Any good quality pure vanilla extract or paste will work well in this recipe.
If you’re feeling extra sassy, another way to get the speckles – and a killer vanilla flavor – is to use a real vanilla bean. Scrape out the seeds from inside of the pod and add the seeds and pod in the first step of the recipe. Discard the pod before straining the pudding.
The pudding will need several hours to chill in the fridge to set and it tastes best when very cold. When it’s ready to serve, whip it up for a few seconds with a hand whisk and top with any of your favorite additions – whipped cream, Nilla wafers, chocolate chips, nuts, etc. Enjoy!
|Homemade Vanilla Pudding|| |
- 4½ cups whole milk
- ¾ cups white granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- ½ tsp salt
- 5 large egg yolks*
- 1 TBS pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 2 TBS unsalted butter
- In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat the milk to steaming. While the milk is heating, use a second bowl and mix together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in the egg yolks until a paste forms.
- Drizzle about a cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking constantly, and then pour the new mixture back into the saucepan. Heat, while stirring constantly, until bubbles begin to break on the surface, but before the mixture reaches a full boil. Lower heat if needed and continue cooking for an extra 2-3 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken and take on a pudding-like consistency.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and the butter until fully combined. Immediately pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap down directly onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
- Give the pudding a whisk before serving. Add any toppings you like, such as whipped cream, M&M candies, chocolate chips, crushed Nilla wafers, etc.
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