Sunday, January 9, 2011

Vanilla Pudding

Saturday was a day of rest and relaxation, for catching up on reading and on cooking. By mid-afternoon, I was halfway through my book and craving something sweet (the clear downside of baking is you get used to sweets). Not really in the mood for something heavy, I aimlessly went to smitten kitchen for inspiration and found it instantly in a new post on vanilla pudding. I'm not sure I've ever had homemade pudding and I had no idea how it's even made. Pudding is (was more accurately now) something that comes in tiny plastic tubs when you're sick or small cardboard boxes when your grandma makes it. Surprisingly, pudding is fairly simple to make ... it just requires time and patience to set. I had everything on hand, so by dinner time, I had homemade pudding. Delicious!

Vanilla Pudding (from Smitten Kitchen)

2 2/3 cups whole milk, divided (I used 2%)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon rum

1. Bring 2 cups of the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium heatproof bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
3. Gradually whisk in the remaining 2/3 cup milk, a little at a time so lumps do not form, then whisk in the egg.
4. Once milk is boiling, very gradually add it to the cornstarch mixture in the bowl, whisking the whole time.
5. Return the mixture back to the saucepan, stirring constantly with a silicon spatula or wooden spoon.
6. Once it comes to a simmer, cook it for one minute longer (which will cook the cornstarch and egg fully and also thicken the mixture noticeably).
7. Stir in vanilla extract and rum and divide pudding among 6 dishes.
8. Chill in refrigerator until fully set, about 2 hours.

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