VANILLA PUDDING WITHOUT EGGS
2 1/2 C whole milk (half milk/half cream may be used)
3 T cornstarch
dash of salt
2 t vanilla extract
2 T butter (unsalted is best; if using salted butter, omit the dash of salt mentioned earlier)
Working in a heavy-bottom saucepan, pour 2 Cups of milk, sugar, and salt. Medium-low heat. Cook and stir just until mixture begins to steam. Do not boil.
In a bowl combine cornstarch and remaining milk, blend so there are no lumps. Add the cornstarch mixture to the hot milk mixture, stirring constantly until it starts to thicken. It should almost but not quite come to a boil. Reduce heat to low/very low, cook and stir for 5 minutes more. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla.
(I cheat and place the milk and cornstarch into a shaker jar, the kind used to make homemade powdered protein drinks, then pour through a strainer into the hot mixture while stirring constantly.)
This next part may start a fight at your house. Spoon hot pudding into small glass serving dishes. Immediately cover each dish with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on top of the pudding. That’s where the fight comes in. Some of us actually like that skin.