Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sweet simplicity: Vanilla pudding and butter cookies

I'm sure some will think I'm crazy, but on occasion I like to make pudding from scratch. The stuff you buy in the box and mix with milk just doesn't do it for me--it's always too thin and tastes too artificial. The real stuff isn't all that difficult to whip up, and it tastes so much better.

This particular recipe comes from an issue of Everyday Food. I like to pair the finished product with a few simple butter or shortbread cookies, though strawberries or raspberries--and a dollop of whipped cream--sure sound tasty right about now...

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups milk
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted, whichever you prefer)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Have ready a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl.

In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually whisk in the milk, and then whisk in the yolks.

Whisking constantly, cook mixture over medium heat until the first large bubbles form and burst. Reduce heat to low and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute more.

Remove from hear, and immediately pour through sieve and into bowl. Stir in vanilla and butter. Cover pudding with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.

Serve with butter cookies and sweetened whipped cream.

Makes about 6 servings.