Makes 8-10 six-ounce servings
6 ounces unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups dark brown sugar (must be dark brown)
1 vanilla bean, split down the middle and scraped
3 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/2 cup cornstarch
6 egg yolks
2 t vanilla extract
First, measure out everything. This is the kind of recipe where everything needs to be on hand because the steps must be executed in quick succession
- Measure the cornstarch into a small bowl;
- Separate the eggs and place the yolks in a mixing bowl and whisk lightly;
- Set a fine mesh strainer inside a mixing bowl or large pitcher. You will strain the pudding before transferring it to individual cups.
- Set out the cups/ramekins/glasses in which you intend to serve the pudding.
Now...begin to cook!
Heat butter in a medium-large saucepan over low heat until melted. Add brown sugar and vanilla bean and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring every so often, to let the flavor develop and the color darken.
Heat milk and half and half in a medium saucepan, preferably one with a pour spout. Bring to a very low simmer.
Pour a little of the hot milk over the cornstarch and stir until smooth. Reserve
Slowly add the remaining hot milk to the butter and sugar, whisking well to combine. If it separates, don't fret - just remove the pan from the heat and continue to whisk until it comes together.
Add the cornstarch to the saucepan, whisking in well.
Carefully ladle some of the hot pudding into the egg yolks, whisking well. Add another ladle of pudding and whisk. Then return that mixture to the pot and combine all together.
Add the vanilla extract and continue to cook for another minute. Strain thru the mesh strainer into a clean bowl or pitcher and immediately transfer the pudding to individual glasses.