May is a fickle month, weather-wise, at least in this region of the country. Last Friday it was warm. I actually felt hot running around doing a few errands in the afternoon. But the cooler temps are back, and I have my sweatshirt on over my turtleneck. Yes, I’m still wearing turtlenecks. It’s my uniform from September through May, so I’m in the home stretch, getting ready to switch over to clothes that at least suggest warmer weather is in sight. But it will be a little while yet before I break out the tank tops.
Tonight it seemed just right to mix up a little warmth for an after dinner treat. One of my favorite comfort foods, plain vanilla pudding has just the right everything: the right amount of sweet creamy buttery warmth that makes it irresistible on a chilly evening. This makes a small amount, so if you are making this for more a couple of people, you’ll probably want to double the recipe.
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups half and half
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan.
2. Whisk in about a third of the half and half, stirring until smooth. Stir in remaining half and half until well combined.
3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened (about 5 minutes, but the time will vary).
4. Reduce heat to low and continue to heat, stirring gently, until the mixture reaches a simmer.
5. Cook one minute more over low heat, then remove from heat.
6. Fold in butter and vanilla extract. Spoon pudding into serving dishes.
I like this served warm, but if you prefer it chilled, just make early enough in the day to chill in the fridge before serving. I always have a bit left over, and it keeps well for a day or two in the fridge. Just reheat briefly in the microwave if you like it served warm.
This is a thinner pudding than the instant variety, but it is simple to make, silky smooth, and has no artificial ingredients!