Puddings are very simple, basic desserts that please most everyone. Even though there are bunches of desserts to suit every taste, the humble pudding satisfies in both taste and economy. Most pudding recipes are very inexpensive to make and in these hard economic times, that's more of a reason to make them!
Puddings are easy to do and most often, we reach for a box of pudding mix whenever we would like to make pudding. However, homemade is always a treat. The recipe I'm sharing is for "Grandma's Vanilla Pudding", and this is a no-fail recipe. Homemade puddings can be sometimes tricky. They can turn out lumpy and even scorch on the bottom of the pan, but this one is about as perfect a pudding as you'll make.
This recipe defies the traditional method of making pudding. We usually combine the dry ingredients first, then stir in milk and begin cooking the mixture. Here, most of the milk in placed in a saucepan, along with salt and sugar. The real trick to this pudding is following the directions explicitly, so you DON'T STIR once the salt and sugar go into the milk. Additional milk is mixed with cornstarch and egg yolks and added to the boiling milk mixture. This thickens immediately and creates a perfectly smooth pudding. After one more minute of cooking, butter and vanilla extract is added and that's that! The pudding may be served warm or chilled, which is my preference. But, it's incredible that this pudding turns out perfect every time and never is lumpy or scorches!
This can also be made into chocolate pudding by increasing the sugar to 2/3 cup and mixing 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa with the cornstarch and milk mixture that you add to the boiling milk. This pudding can be used as the base for a banana pudding or simply spooned into dessert dishes and topped with whipped cream or just served plain. It's perfect pudding, no matter how it's served!
Sometime ago, I shared a "Peanut Butter Pudding" recipe that is also good, easy and economical. To get this recipe, follow this link:
Never had good luck with homemade pudding? Give this recipe a shot and surprise yourself as to how easy perfect pudding can be made!
GRANDMA'S VANILLA PUDDING
- 2-1/2 cups milk
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon butter
Place 2 cups of the milk in a saucepan. Add the salt and turn on the heat. Pour in the sugar, but DO NOT STIR. Quickly mix the remaining milk with the cornstarch. Add the egg yolks and stir well. When milk mixture comes to a rolling boil, remove pan from heat and stir in the cornstarch mixture. The pudding thickens instantly and is very smooth. Return pan to the heat about 1 minute while stirring. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract and butter, stirring well. Serve warm or chill, serving plain or with whipped cream. Yield 4 servings.
For chocolate pudding, increase sugar to 2/3 cup and stir in 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa to the cornstarch and milk mixture before adding to the saucepan.