This past week, I made a treat for the kids at school. I run a kitchen at a private school. Dessert is not on our menu. Occasionally, when I have time, I will make a dessert for the kids. They love it! And I can get some of them to eat just about anything so that they can get dessert. I never offer dessert on days when we have the kid favorites like pizza, hot dogs or chicken nuggets. I always do it on a day like meatloaf day. I have to admit that I make really good meatloaf. If I didn’t serve a dessert at least once during the year on meatloaf day, the kids who have bad or no meatloaf experience would never touch it to find out if they like it or not. Call dessert an incentive to try new things on days like this.
Last week we had meatloaf, and I made real vanilla pudding – no box. I’m sure most, if not all, of the kids who got dessert had never had real vanilla pudding made without a boxed mix. They LOVED it!! One of my favorite fourth grade students, who is the other person besides my mom who reads this blog, wanted me to share the recipe here. And she asked me more than once. So here you are. A recipe for real vanilla pudding – no box! And I’ll give you the home-sized version, not the school, two gallons of milk version. You’re welcome!
Real Vanilla Pudding – No Box
2/3 cup organic cane sugar
3 Tablespoons organic corn starch (I order Rapunzel brand from Vitacost.com)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 Cups organic whole milk
4 organic egg yolks
2 Tablespoons organic butter
2 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
Beat egg yolks in a medium sized bowl. Set aside
Combine the first 3 ingredients in a large saucepan and gradually stir in the milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil. Cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
While whisking the egg yolks rapidly, pour about a cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks. Keep whisking rapidly so that the eggs don’t cook and become like scrambled eggs. While still whisking vigorously, pour in about another cup of hot milk. Whisk for another 30 seconds or so. Now pour this egg mixture back into your saucepan and whisk it there.
Return the saucepan to the heat and stir constantly until it begins to boil again and cook for 3 more minutes. Make sure you are stirring the entire time!
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Pour into a bowl or individual pudding bowls or custard cups. If you aren’t a big fan of pudding skin, that would be me, put a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper directly on top of the pudding. This will keep the pudding from developing a skin as it cools. Chill your pudding in the refrigerator or eat it warm. Or you can make homemade banana pudding.
When I make mine at home, I use a little bit less sugar and I use a vanilla bean instead of the vanilla extract. And then I use the egg whites to make a meringue for banana pudding. If you don’t use your egg whites for that, you could use them to make meringue cookies. Or you could make an egg white omelet.
However you choose to eat your pudding, enjoy! You have made something yummy, and you have enough to share! Who do you know who would love some of your very own homemade comfort food? It’s nice to make someone else smile.