I’ve tried many, many different recipes for vanilla pudding over the years. Since we’ve acquired laying hens and a family milk cow, I’ve been trying to find recipes that use up the largest amount of those ingredients as possible because let’s face it, vanilla pudding is a whole lot quicker to prepare than an angel food cake (to use up some eggs) or cheese (to use up the milk). Cooling time aside, of course.
The problem always seems to be that I never have a consistency that is appetizing. It’s either very loose and becomes watery after a day or it will have the dreaded egg chunks in it. No matter how thoroughly I seem to temper the eggs, I always get those nasty little bits of cooked egg. Using just yolks never seems to make the tempering go any “smoother.”
Then twice, maybe three times a year, I’ll indulge my eldest (Who am I kidding?- And myself too!) and make my Boston Cream Pie recipe. My husband doesn’t care too much for it. He likes his pie description to be preceded by words like “apple” and “sweet potato”, etc…. But when I remind him he’s not the only one around here and bake that Boston Cream Pie, I always marvel at how easy the vanilla filling is to make and how well it turns out, not to mention how delicious it is!
The last time, I decided to try preparing it as though I was preparing pudding and see how it turned out.
And it was perfect.
Always one to push things one step further, or in this case two, I wanted to see how it would set up for a vanilla pudding pie… and if Hannah could make it without any help.
The short answer- Yes on both scores.
Whisking the dry ingredients
Separating the eggs
Separating the eggs
Spooning into a pie crust (This is my favorite homemade, flaky pie crust) But imagine how beautiful that golden yellow pudding would compliment the color of these ramekins!
While not having bits of cooked egg yolk helps, I’ve learned that the real secret to a smooth pudding is in the thickener. I’ve tried many types and in the end cornstarch wins for achieving the perfect consistency. Arrowroot powder made the pudding smooth, but it was gummy and the texture was what I imagine a frog’s tongue to be like. It was something like a science experiment. Flour gave this pudding a grainy texture. Cornstarch made it smooth as silk.
Creamy Homemade Vanilla Pudding
Vanilla Pudding Recipe
⅔ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ⅔ cups milk
4 egg yolks
4 teaspoons vanilla
3 stars out of 5
In a medium saucepan whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
Gradually whisk the milk & eggs into the saucepan until well combined.
After you've whisked in the milk and eggs, stop stirring for a minute and see if any undissolved bits of egg yolk rise to the top. Skim those off with a wire mesh strainer.
Cook the pudding over medium heat, whisking constantly until it boils and begins to thicken.
Boil, stirring for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Spoon into a cups and cover with plastic wrap directly onto of the pudding to prevent the surface from forming a skin.
Refrigerate until set and cool, maybe 3-4 hours. Or fill a warm, pre-baked pie crust, cover with plastic wrap in the same manner and chill overnight.