When our mom was a little girl in rural Germany, one of her chores was to make her older brother vanilla pudding after school. He was three years older so I don’t know why he couldn’t make it himself – it was so easy since the custard she made was from a powdered mix in an envelope. This custard, however, is enriched with egg yolks and butter and infused with real vanilla, so I’m sure it beats anything from a packet.
This is a quick and easy vanilla custard that I whipped up to be used in the trifle I made for our family’s Christmas dinner, but you can just as well enjoy it as is.
I used all my vanilla beans to make vanilla extract, but if you’ve got a bean hanging around, you can scrape the seeds into the milk to infuse. If not, you can use any good quality vanilla extract.
You can use this vanilla custard in a trifle as I did, as a cake filling, or with berries as a simple dessert.
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 cups milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with ½ cup milk, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
- In a double boiler, heat 1½ cups milk until steaming.
- In a steady stream, whisk the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture.
- Return the mixture to the double boiler and stir continuously over medium heat. The custard will slowly warm up, then thicken all of a sudden. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the butter and vanilla extract.
- Let cool.