Randy Mayor
Yield
6 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)

Vanilla beans can be expensive, but their superior flavor is worth the investment. Substitute vanilla paste or one teaspoon real vanilla extract if necessary. Stir extract in with the butter.

How to Make It

Step 1

Place milk in a medium, heavy saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; add seeds and bean to milk. Bring to a boil.

Step 2

Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl, stirring well. Combine half-and-half and egg yolks, stirring well. Stir egg yolk mixture into sugar mixture. Gradually add half of hot milk to sugar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return hot milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat. Add butter, stirring until melted. Remove vanilla bean; discard.

Step 3

Spoon pudding into a bowl. Place bowl in a large ice-filled bowl for 15 minutes or until pudding cools, stirring occasionally. Cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap; chill.

Step 4

Peanut Butter Pudding Variation: Omit vanilla bean, salt, and butter; stir in 1/4 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter after custard is cooked. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup).

Step 5

CALORIES 257 (30% from fat); FAT 6g (sat 3g, mono 6g, poly 6g); PROTEIN 9g; CARB 2g; FIBER 7g; CHOL 80mg; IRON 5mg; SODIUM 170mg; CALC 142mg

Step 6

Coconut Pudding Variation: Omit vanilla bean. Omit 3/4 cup milk, and replace it with 3/4 cup light unsweetened coconut milk. Omit butter; stir in 1/2 cup toasted sweetened flaked coconut after pudding is cooked. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup).

Step 7

CALORIES 224 (30% from fat); FAT 5g (sat 3g, mono 5g, poly 4g); PROTEIN 1g; CARB 8g; FIBER 3g; CHOL 77mg; IRON 5mg; SODIUM 115mg; CALC 105mg

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