LunaCafe’s Ultimate Vanilla Pudding
If there is a more perfect vanilla pudding in the universe, I haven’t encountered it. Descriptors for this pudding include light, delicate, decadent, luscious, and perfectly creamy, with a voluminous mouth feel. This is, without a doubt, the best vanilla pudding I have ever eaten.
The set for this custard is intentionally soft. If you want the pudding to hold it’s shape on a plate or in a pie crust, double the cornstarch.
The formula is easy to remember: For every cup of milk, use 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 egg yolk, and 1 tablespoon butter. With the addition of ½ teaspoon vanilla and ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, you’lll have a perfect vanilla pudding.
Ingredient Note It isn’t required, but the inclusion of some cream makes for an exceptionally luscious pudding. I almost always include it.
3 large egg yolks
¼ cup whole milk
9 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoon cornstarch
3/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 3/4 cups whole milk (or ¾ cup cream and 2 cups whole milk)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 12 chunks
1½ teaspoon vanilla (I love Mexican vanilla here)
lightly sweetened whipped cream, optional
- In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks with ¼ cup of milk until well combined. Reserve.
- In a 3-quart saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt, and then slowly whisk in the cold milk, a little at a time to ensure no lumps form. Scrape the bottom and sides of the saucepan with a silicon (heatproof) spatula.
- Over medium heat, stirring constantly, bring to a bare simmer.
- Ladle ½ cup of the hot pudding into the egg yolks and whisk rapidly. Repeat two times. Now add the egg yolk mixture back to the saucepan. This tempers the egg and helps to prevent curdling.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and continue stirring the pudding until it thickens to the point that it coats the back of the spatula, from 2-4 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla until the butter is melted.
- Serve pudding warm if you like or to serve cold (my preference), immediately pour into a medium mixing bowl or 4-cup glass measuring cup. (If you think you may have lumps, pour the pudding through a single mesh strainer, using a plastic spatula to push the pudding through.) Alternatively, you can pour pudding directly into six ½-cup serving dishes. (The reason I rarely do this is because I prefer mounded servings.)
- Quickly press a small piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
- Let cool, and then refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
- To serve, spoon pudding into six, ½-cup ramekins (if you didn’t do this earlier).
- Top each serving with a generous mound of whipped cream.
- Serve immediately.
Makes about 3 cups, or six ½-cup servings.
Copyright 2010=2017 Susan S. Bradley. All rights reserved.