Thursday, August 11, 2011

Vanilla Bean pudding

My friend Kelly requested a good vanilla pudding recipe. I immediately started thinking about what a good vanilla pudding would be; rich and creamy, solid but not gummy, complex in vanilla flavor, not just sweetened milk. Its a lot harder to come up with a GOOD vanilla pudding than you'd think! The Witch tried a few different variations, one version was too eggy in flavor, one wasn't sweet enough. Simple fixes resulted in a smooth, velvety, rich, sweet and vanilla is the flavor with all of its complex deliciousness. And I absolutely love the specks of vanilla bean and how they burst when you chew them releasing even more vanilla. Delicious!

Guess what else I learned while making this pudding? The Witch learned that sometimes its not a great idea to recycle plastic things. Why?? Well, allow me to explain. The little Witch sees the pudding cups at the grocery store and of course asks for them. I politely decline, telling her that mommy can make pudding that tastes a lot better than what comes in those cups. Then she says "yeah, but what about the cups? I want the plastic cups Mom." Great...but wait! Then it hits me! Just save the little plastic bowls that mandarin oranges and fruit cocktail come in. Done! "Sure sweetie, Mommy can make it in cups, no problem!"

I make the vanilla pudding. I strain the pudding to ensure its velvety smoothness. I lovingly ladle the pudding into said cups, cover and refrigerate them. We wait 4 hours before tasting them. Finally! I take a bite excited to taste my rich vanilla flavor...why does it taste like fruit? Like mandarin oranges...oh wait...this was a cup of mandarin oranges and guess what? Plastic absorbs flavors. And when plastic gets hot it releases those flavors. Right into my vanilla pudding! So, the lesson here is that unless you want fruit and odd flavors in your vanilla pudding, use glass or porcelain for your pudding. I now use tea cups and they work perfectly, and lets be honest, they look a lot better than plastic cups.

Vanilla Bean Pudding
makes 8 (1/2 cup) servings
1/2 c + 2T sugar
1/4 c corn starch
3 cups 2% milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped out
1 t vanilla extract
pinch salt

In a heavy bottom pan add 1/2 c sugar, cornstarch and the salt. Whisk well together to break up starch.

Over medium high heat add the milk and cream along with the scraped vanilla seeds AND the pods, whisking well to dissolve sugar and cornstarch. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes whisking often to avoid hot spots and burning.

Whisk up the egg yolks with remaining 2 T sugar. Add 1 cup of hot pudding to the yolk, whisk well, quickly. Add the yolk mixture to the boiling pudding whisking to incorporate. Bring back to the boil and cook for 2 minutes longer, whisking to avoid scorch spots.

Turn heat off. Add the vanilla extract, stirring well.

Pour cooked pudding through a fine mesh sieve to strain out vanilla pods as well as any lumps or egg pieces. This will ensure a velvety smooth pudding. Pour strained pudding into tea cups and cover with plastic to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

I just love all those vanilla beans!

Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople recipe calculator
Amount Per Serving
Calories 228.1
Total Fat 13.4 g
Saturated Fat 8.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.9 g
Cholesterol 73.7 mg
Sodium 69.2 mg
Potassium 24.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 23.7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.0 g
Sugars 19.3 g
Protein 4.0 g


Foodycat said...

I associate pudding like this so much with America (I think we call it blancmange, or custard) but I have never seen one that looks better than this! LOVE the vanilla seeds!

Jay said...

wow...wat a yummmmy treat..:)
Tasty Appetite

Jenn said...

Goodness, Andrea.. that pudding looks perfect!! Love those little vanilla specks too.. you know that is a sign of something good!!!

anthony stemke said...

What a fabulous pudding, I can almost taste the goodness here.

Thank You.

Tonya said...

This looks amazing. Vanilla is actually one of my all time favorite flavors for anything. Yum!

Quay Po Cooks said...

This is visually appealing! I am sure it taste as good as it looks. Love vanilla anything!

The Blue Faerie said...

Doh! Right when I'm trying to eat healthy. I know this is pretty healthy pudding, but I would totally go overboard. And when my husband would ask, "Honey, where's that big bowl of pudding you made?" I'd say, "What pudding?", as I licked the last of the incriminating stuff off my lips. :P

Yenta Mary said...

OMG, absolutely luscious! Smooth, creamy, utterly sublime ... :)

LaMagicaZucca said...

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I love your recipes.
I have added to your followers because of the content offered is very interesting and pleasant to read.
If you like, go and see, you're welcome.
The magic pumpkin

Cranberry Morning said...

Wow! You mean there's a way of making it other than dumping a box of Jello pudding and milk into a blender?? lol Looks amazing, Andrea! (P.S. You won't be sorry about the blueberry muffins. This recipe has never let me down!)

Care's Kitchen said...

Now you SO have me craving vanilla pudding!!!!! I love your creativity too, even though you were trying to be "mom sneaky" and it didn't work out!!! Too Funny! Love it!

Pegasuslegend said...

This is very delicious sounding

Baking Addict said...

I've never had a vanilla bean pudding but would love one of yours. I love using vanilla pods for baking.

Velva said...

Good advice about using previous food cups. I will remember that too. Love, love vanilla pudding. I will eat them till gone. I really like the texture of pudding. Delicious.


Keli said...

I love anything vanilla bean!

You had good intentions with the pudding cups, I would have done the same thing! LOL

Pam said...

I've never made pudding - this looks wonderful!

Jennifer Field said...

Vanilla pudding is one of my favorites. I have a scalable recipe so if I want to whip up a snack, I can make it w/only 1/2 or 1 cup of dairy. If I'm having friends over (or I'm really hungry), I might go w/up to a quart of dairy. So nice to find a fellow vanilla pudding aficionado. :)

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

Just stop it right now! Look at those vanilla beans... Be still my heart. You have outdone yourself miss lady. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!

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