Vanilla Pudding

A friend of mine made this recipe for a house party recently.  He prepared kiwi compote to accompany it by blending kiwis and then cooking the mush until it reduced to a jam-like consistency.

Original recipe


Vanilla Pudding
Adapted from the New York Times

Yield: 4 servings

  • 2 ½ cups half-and-half OR whole milk
  • cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean OR 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons tapioca starch OR cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (optional)


  1. Put 2 cups of half-and-half or milk, sugar, and salt in a small or medium saucepot over medium-low heat.  If using a vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and scrape seeds into milk or half-and-half using small sharp knife, then add pod.  Cook just until mixture begins to steam.
  2. Combine tapioca starch OR cornstarch and remaining milk or half-and-half in a bowl and blend; there should be no lumps.
  3. Fish pod from pot and discard. Add starch mixture.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture starts to thicken and barely reaches a boil, about 5 minutes.
  5. Immediately reduce heat to very low and stir for 5 minutes or so until thick.
  6. Stir in butter and vanilla extract, if using.
  7. Pour mixture into a 1-quart dish or 4 to 6 small ramekins or bowls. Put plastic wrap directly on the pudding to prevent formation of a skin, or do not cover if you like skin.
  8. Refrigerate until chilled, and serve within a day, with whipped cream if you like. Whisk to remove lumps if needed.

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