Combine 2 1/2 cups milk and ginger in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.
Combine 1/2 cup milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks in a medium bowl, and stir with a whisk until well-blended. Gradually stir one-fourth of the hot milk mixture into egg mixture; add to remaining milk mixture, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook 1 minute or until thick and creamy, stirring constantly. Remove mixture from heat; stir in butter, rind, and vanilla. Pour into a bowl; cover surface of the pudding with plastic wrap. Chill.
Oh my goodness, this pudding is out of this world!!! I mean no exaggeration by this, but it is one of the top 3 desserts I've ever tasted, and by far the absolutely best dessert I've ever made!! I served it in little martini serving glasses topped with fresh-picked blueberries from my family's garden.
I'm much more a savory than sweet cook, and I've never made pudding before, so I was really nervous. But the recipe was very easy to follow and it didn't take long at all. Laying the plastic wrap directly on the pudding when you chill it (and making sure there are no air bubbles) is key, because then you prevent that weird milky film to form on its surface.
Make sure you find a grocery store that sells crystallized ginger in bulk - otherwise, it's REALLY expensive. I'm seriously considering making this once a week because it's THAT good!
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