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Homemade Vanilla Bean Pudding… From Colorado?

Homemade Vanilla Bean Pudding

Do you hate school projects as much as Kent and I do? If you read this, Megan, we’re sorry…

You see, our good friend, Meg, is our daughter’s teacher this year. There aren’t many projects, really there aren’t, but we just can’t stand them. We don’t have self-motivating get-it-done-on-their-own kinds of kids. These projects become ours, and it’s time consuming! (Later it’s always fun to find out what grade we got, though.)

The latest project is a state report, and our 4th grader picked Colorado, which is good since we just went there last summer. Part of the deal is that we have to come up with a recipe from that state and bring in samples to share. After much Googling, I still didn’t have a clue what Colorado was ‘known for’, and decided to just think of something that would be easy to share on the big day. I thought vanilla pudding sounded good, so I Googled ‘Vanilla Bean Colorado’ and found out there’s an organic vanilla bean company there. BINGO. It’s a stretch, but whatever. Plus Megan loves vanilla anything, so I knew that would seal the grade. Ha!

Homemade Vanilla Bean Pudding

Pour milk in a medium, heavy saucepan, not Teflon, but you knew I’d say that. Scrape seeds from the vanilla bean; add seeds and bean to the milk. Keep stirring and bring it almost to a boil on medium heat, being careful not to burn it.

Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl, and stir well. Combine cream and egg yolks, stirring well. Stir egg yolk mixture into sugar mixture. Gradually add half of the hot milk to sugar mixture (if you go too fast it will get clumpy), stirring constantly with a whisk. Return hot milk mixture to pan, add maple syrup for extra flavor yumminess if desired. Bring it almost to a boil again and keep stirring with a whisk. It should begin to thicken, then cook for one more minute. Remove from heat. Add butter (and vanilla extract if that’s what you’re using), stirring until melted. Remove vanilla bean; discard.

Spoon pudding into bowls. Cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap if you don’t like the ‘pudding skin’ that forms on top. Chill well and serve with real whipped cream, if desired.

Makes about 3 1/2 cups of pudding.

Also, for more homemade pudding ideas, check out the comments section at this pudding comparisons post.


  1. Hmm…that’s a bit of a stumper and I’ve now lived in Colorado for almost 8 years. The only possibility I can think of is game meat, such as elk. You can find that around quite a bit, especially in the mountain towns. I think here in Boulder, where I live, we tend to be known for the many organic restaurants we have. But that’s still not a specific recipe you could make! I hope your vanilla bean pudding makes the grade!

  2. Yeah, Colorado doesn’t really have it’s “own” cuisine, that would be hard. We do produce good honey (I know there is one brand for sure you can get on amazon, my sister found it), and we do get some amazing peaches in the summertime. Also game meat, mentioned above…really not sure what I would have done!

    I do LOVE homemade pudding, though. I’ve made it several times when I’ve had extra milk to use up, my favorite is probably butterscotch (which uses brown sugar), yummmm……

  3. Mexico stretched up into southern Colorado until the Mexican-American war. There are some awesome local variations of traditional Mexican foods. In the fall, there are vendors selling fresh hatch chiles which they roast on demand on Federal Blvd. They use blow-torches and giant bingo looking rotating bins. It is my FAVORITE time of the year!

  4. Oh! I mentioned this to my husband who reminded me of the dish “Chile Colorado” which has been eaten in Colorado for hundreds of years! Our first bishop came from France to Colorado when there were only furrier’s and saloons here. He started as a parochial vicar for the diocese of New Mexico. He grew chiles specifically to enjoy this dish. I should put a recipe for it on my own Blog!

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