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!
Thankfully it turned out really good and it was a hit!
- 2 cups milk (read about healthy milk choices)
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 1 T. vanilla extract)
- 3/4 cup sugar (I use coconut sugar — NOTE: this will make the pudding a light brown color, not the creamy color you're used to with vanilla pudding.)
- 4 Tablespoons organic cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup cream (best from cows on pasture)
- 2 large egg yolks (best from pastured hens)
- 4 teaspoon butter
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup, optional
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 and 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.