Stirring up sweet memories
Tap into the sophisticated possibilities of beloved childhood dessert
Vanilla pudding pops: Part of the appeal of vanilla pudding lies in its simplicity. It personifies the nostalgic flavors of childhood. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
3 egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1. Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt and vanilla bean seeds in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the egg yolks until well combined. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking to incorporate. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, 10-15 minutes.
2. Remove from the heat; whisk in the butter one piece at a time, making sure each piece is incorporated before adding the next. Cover the top of the pudding with plastic wrap; refrigerate until set, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Per serving: 254 calories, 13 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 166 mg cholesterol, 28 g carbohydrates, 6 g protein, 133 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.
Ways to serve it up
Present your pudding simply with whipped cream or fresh fruit. Or transform it with these ideas from Shaina Olmanson author of "Desserts in Jars."
Make vanilla pudding pops, right. Lightly grease commercially available ice pop molds, Olmanson uses the wrapper from a stick of butter for the task, then pour in the pudding. Freeze. "It's creamy and sweet and everything you want in (an ice pop) but it doesn't freeze so hard,'' she says.
Place pound-cake slices in a cake pan. Pour vanilla pudding hot off the stove over the pound cake. Let it cool and set. Top with fresh fruit.
Use pudding in layered desserts, such as a trifle or parfait. "Creamy layers act as the glue that holds it all together," she writes.