Randy Mayor
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

Ratings & Reviews

So good!

June 28, 2015
i made this for the first time last night. It is absolutely delicious. I agree with the other posters that the sugar should be reduced, it's very sweet at 3/4 cup. 1/2 cup seems like it would be about right. I didn't have half and half so I substituted some canned whipped cream and stirred it down with a little milk into a liquid - which worked fine. I also didn't have a vanilla bean so I substituted 3 tsp of organic vanilla extract...which made for a more 'French Vanilla' experience. When pouring the mixture into the bowl to cool, I strained it through a strainer to smooth it out. Also, after chilling overnight, I took a beater to it to smooth it out further into a more pudding like (and less custardy) texture. I will make this again, I have some ideas for other flavor options. Yummy!!!

creamcheese's Review

June 03, 2013
So quick and easy! Very tasty. Followed other reviewers' recommendation to use only 1/2 cup sugar. Also, replaced the half-and-half with more milk. Used three egg yolks because that's what I needed to use up. Served it to guests and very happy with the results. Next time I'll jazz it up with cardamom, cinnamon or lemon rind.

Veronica1917's Review

September 22, 2011
I made this recipe last night and loved it. I did make some changes though. 1) I cut the sugar down to 1/2 cup. 2) I wanted a non-dairy version so used Almond Milk instead of the regular milk and Vanilla Soy Creamer instead of the half and half. 3) I couldn't resist...I had to add some cinnamon (about 2 teaspoons). The result? Wonderful! You would never know it didn't have dairy. Give it a try! It's awesome!

Charmin's Review

July 05, 2010
Fantastic taste and texture. I have made it twice. Thought it was a little sweet and will cut sugar by a quarter cup next time! Anyone who loves the true taste of vanilla will be crazy over this pudding.

MMintz's Review

June 11, 2009
Quite possibly my favorite CookingLight recipe ever! Sure, it takes more time than instant pudding, but boy is it worth it!! The vanilla bean flavor is AMAZING. My family asks for it every time they visit. I have never had any problems with the recipe. It takes several minutes of intense monitoring to not scold the mixture there at the end. Otherwise, it is a very doable recipe. Note: After about 2 days in the fridge, the recipe begins to separate, so eat it before then! LOVE IT!!