Saturday, March 5, 2016

Vanilla Pudding

3 cups half-and-half (4 Cups)
¾ cup (5 ¼ ounces) sugar (1 Cup)
¼ teaspoon salt (1/2 tsp)
4 large egg yolks, whites reserved (5 egg yolks)
3 tablespoons cornstarch (4 tbsp)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 3 pieces (4 tbsp, cut into 3 pcs)
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract (2 tsp)

1. Place the half-and-half, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring to completely dissolve sugar.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and continue whisking until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.

3. When the half-and-half mixture reaches a full simmer, turn off the heat and gradually whisk 1/2 cups of the simmering half-and-half mixture into the yolk mixture to ­temper. After turning the heat back on, return the egg mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Return to a simmer over medium heat, stirring gently but constantly with a wooden spoon until 3 or 4 bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Pass the pudding through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula. Whisk in the butter and vanilla. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding bowl.

Cool the pudding just to use it as vanilla pudding. This recipe came from the ATK recipe for banana pudding. If you're making banana pudding, make 1 1/3 times this (one isn't quite enough), ingredient quantities in italics.

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