Making it with this recipe from scratch is so delicious that if all you've ever had was that packet pudding, you will NEVER eat that stuff again. It's super easy to make. The ingredients are basic and are probably already in your home right now. So, what are you waiting for? Hurry up and make this now :)
This is a pretty big batch. There are 6 of us in my home and we all love dessert, so I always make this much, but go ahead and cut the recipe in half if you are serving this to just a few ;)
Here's everything you will need:
4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 large egg yolks at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Ok, I know that this is a very rich recipe with the 2 cups of cream. I do not recommend substituting skim milk for any of the ingredients, but you may substitute whole milk for any amount or for all of the cream if it concerns you. It will still be delicious, just not as decadent.
Also, feel free to substitute pure almond extract for all or half of the vanilla extract if you like that flavor. I love it! Make it to suit your taste.
Combine the milk, cream, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring it to a boil while constantly stirring. Do not leave this alone or else it will burn and you will have to throw it away.
The mixture will thicken once it boils. Remove from the heat.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks for about 3-4 minutes until pale and frothy. Add one cup or a ladle full of the hot mixture to the eggs to temper them. Temper just means to raise their temperature which will prevent them from scrambling.
Add some more of the hot mixture to the eggs and whisk some more.
Pour the egg mixture into the pot with the hot mixture and return to heat. Cook over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes, stirring until thick and creamy.
Add butter and vanilla extract and mix well.
Pour the pudding through a sieve that is resting over a large bowl. This step ensures a smooth luxurious consistency. If there are any hard bits of cornstarch or egg, they will get filtered out of your pudding.
Place a piece of plastic wrap right on top of your pudding to prevent a skin from forming. I love eating that skin, but if you want a completely smooth pudding, do not skip this step.
Let it cool down to room temperature and then chill it in your refrigerator for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
Here are some tricks and tips if you are making this in a hurry:
1) Once the pudding is ready and you've covered it in plastic, place it in a bigger bowl that is full of ice. This will cool it faster.
2) Once it has cooled down enough to chill in the fridge (and you NEVER want to put anything very hot in the fridge otherwise it will raise the temp. in there and cause things to spoil) put more ice in the underneath bowl and refrigerate it.
Those two steps will ensure that your pudding will be ready in 2 hours instead of 4.
Happy eating :)