200 ml milk
½ vanilla bean
2 egg yolks
50 g sugar
10 g flour or cornstarch
(15 g butter)
(2 tbsp cream)
Use a whole vanilla bean cut in half crosswise. Do not slit the bean open, unless you do not mind the pudding being spotted with vanilla seeds. Place the milk and the vanilla bean half in a saucepan and bring slowly almost to the boil.
Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until ribbons form when you lift the beater(s) up. Add the flour or the cornstarch through a sieve and mix well.
Gradually pour the hot milk into the egg-sugar mixture, whisking continually. Pour the mixture back to the saucepan and bring rapidly to the boil, stirring continually.
Cook, stirring, for 1 to 3 minutes (add the butter and the cream) and strain into a bowl.
Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent it from forming a skin while it cools down. Stir the pudding every now and then during cooling.
When cooled, spoon the pudding in serving dishes, cover and chill in refrigerator. Garnish with a dollop of whipped, vanilla-flavoured cream, candied citrus peel strips, mint or lemon balm sprigs, fresh berries, fruit, etc.
Recipe source: adapted from "Pastry cream", www.garyrhodes.com, accessed 2003.