Pudding and the Fat Queen

“I made pudding from scratch for the first time today!” I exclaimed to my cousin. “What the shit? What are you even saying right now? How can that be???” Replied Stephanie.

I know, it’s such a simple thing… but I’ve never done it. I had all of the ingredients and decided that the time had come. I’m not huge on pudding. I mean, I’ve made my fair share of instant but it’s never been a “go to” in fact, it’s always just been ok. This is definitely one of those instances where making it from scratch makes a world of difference! This stuff was beyond beyond!!! Seriously delicious. As I went through the slow process of properly tempering the eggs to avoid pudding soup, the warm smell of vanilla and cream wafted all around me. Once it had reached the desired thickness, I allowed it to cool a bit. But while it was still quite warm, I fed myself an oversized  mouthful. It was like warm vanilla silk on my tongue. I sat there alone in my kitchen and ladeled spoonful after spoonful into my face. I had a vision of myself as a gluttonous, fat queen greedily lapping up the pudding while her loyal subjects looked on… I quickly allowed the spoon to leave my hobbitish fingers and left the pudding alone to set unencumbered. 

You will need the following: 

  • 4 Tbls cornstarch
  • 6 cups Half and Half
  • 2 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 egg yolks, beaten slightly
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tblsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the half and half, over medium low heat , cook and gently whisk the mixture until it thickens and boils. This is a SLOW process. Do not rush it or your pudding will not set. It will take 7-10 minutes. After it boils, whisk slowly and boil for 2 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat.  
  2. Remove 1 cup of the half and half mixture from the pan. Slowly add it to the egg yolks while mixing with a fork to fully combine. 
  3.  Take the half and half and egg yolk mixture and slowly whisk it back into the remaining mixture. Don’t pour it in too quickly, be patient. This is tempering your eggs. If you rush, you’ll get scrambled eggs! 
  4.  Over medium heat, bring the pan ingredients up to a gentle boil, reduce the heat, cook and whisk slowly for 2 more minutes. 
  5.  Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, salt and vanilla.
  6.  Pour pudding into 6 dessert dishes, cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap so it’s touching the top of the pudding. This prevents a film from forming on the pudding as it cools. Let the pudding cool on the counter 45 minutes, refrigerate up to 24 hours. 

Whether you decadently spoon this into your face or layer it with crushed graham crackers (shown below) you’ll never want boxed pudding again. Swearing Mom out.

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