Vanilla pudding

There was a time in my life when I couldn’t imagine why anyone would bother making something like pudding when Jell-O made a perfectly good instant version. Yeah,  just admitted that.

Then I grew up and something changed, cause last summer I made this pie and ended up tossing most of it. Yeah, I just admitted that too. I’m pretty sure there’s a special place in hell for people who say bad things about Pioneer Woman’s pie. I like 99% of the things I’ve tried from there, but that pie was not for me. Between the yogurt and the Jell-O pudding, it tasted so… artificial.

I think it’s the vanilla. I can”t stand fake vanilla flavor- whether it’s ice cream or otherwise. And when the recipe is as easy as this one (3 steps?) I have a hard time imagining why you wouldn’t just go ahead and make the real thing. I guess I’ve evolved.

A few notes: the original recipe called for whole milk. I used 2 percent, and I think you could even go to 1 percent and still have this be delicious. I also used vanilla bean paste for the first time and was pleasantly surprised with the result. Also, the recipe recommends chilling. But it’s pretty darn good straight out of the pan as well.

Vanilla pudding
(adapted from/ inspired by Smitten Kitchen)

2 2/3 cups milk- divided
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla paste/extract
1 egg

Bring two cups of milk to a boil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat (if you do it hotter, the milk might burn and that is a total bummer). While milk heats, whisk together the dry ingredients in a heat proof bowl. Slowly add 2/3 cup milk to the dry ingredients, whisking constantly to keep smooth. Add vanilla and egg and mix well. When milk is just boiling drizzle into the vanilla/egg/cornstarch mixture. Mix well and then return the whole thing to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Divide into six ramekins and chill.


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