Vanilla Bean Pudding
- 2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
- 2 large egg yolks
- 4 teaspoons butter
- Place milk in a medium, heavy saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; add seeds and bean to milk. Bring to a boil.
- Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl, stirring well. Combine half-and-half and egg yolks, stirring well. Stir egg yolk mixture into sugar mixture. Gradually add half of hot milk to sugar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return hot milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat. Add butter, stirring until melted. Remove vanilla bean; discard.
- Spoon pudding into a bowl. Place bowl in a large ice-filled bowl for 15 minutes or until pudding cools, stirring occasionally. Cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap; chill.
- Peanut Butter Pudding Variation: Omit vanilla bean, salt, and butter; stir in 1/4 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter after custard is cooked. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup).