We all lead such busy lives that we had to book an afternoon with Ms. Annie and Ms. Lara about 10 days in advance! We decided that we all needed to relax, so I made a pitcher of Sangria and we broke out the horse racing game (a wedding gift from Shelley and Anthony) and laughed our faces off.
I made one of my favourite desserts, a homemade vanilla pudding. To me, this is creamy perfection. It goes down smoothly and is so cool and creamy on the tongue. It's so darn simple too. And, you can double the recipe.
Homemade Vanilla Pudding
(from Fine Cooking Magazine Fresh and Quick Issue)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
5 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean or 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces at room temperature
In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar, cornstarch and salt until well blended. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Add the vanilla bean if using. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. This should take anywhere from about 4-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until well blended. When the milk mixture is thickened and simmering, slowly pour it into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes back to a boil, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
Remove the vanilla bean with a fork, and scrape any remaining seeds into the pudding. Throw out the pod. Add the butter and IF you're using vanilla extract instead of the bean, add it now. Whisk until everything is blended. Portion the hot mixture evenly into 4 bowls. Gentle press a piece of plastic on the surface of the pudding, so that no icky film forms as it cools. Refrigerate for about 2 hours until firm. It will last in your fridge for 3 days.
I must say, this is a perfect summer dessert. (Not that we've seen summer around these parts yet - but I'm hopeful.)