I have to be real for a moment.
Sometimes, I get into a major baking/cooking slump. Lately, there have been a lot of recipe fails..which, inevitably, leads to frustration. I find that stepping back and letting other tasks distract me is just the thing that helps. I’ve been letting myself get lost in the task of making our rental house feel more like our own space. There have been paint samples, scheming up organizational solutions, and much online shopping.
My time spent in the kitchen has been limited to essential meals. Yesterday, however, I felt like getting back into it. Nothing fancy, serious, or time consuming. Enter pudding. There are few things so comforting and simple as pudding. Some milk, a few egg yolks, a little sugar and cornstarch, plus flavorings–in this case vanilla bean and malt. Add a bit of gentle heat, some attention to stirring, and done. Simple, comforting, non-failure…the perfect thing to climb out of that slump.
Vanilla Malt Pudding
adapted from Martha Stewart
3 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
3 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 Tablespoons Malted Milk Powder (I used Carnation brand)
pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons butter, unsalted
In a medium sauce pan heat milk with vanilla seeds and pod until hot, but not boiling, remove from heat. Cover and allow to steep for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks to break up well. Set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together sugar, cornstarch, malt, and salt.
Remove vanilla pod from milk and discard. Whisk in a small amount of the milk into the sugar/cornstarch mixture and whisk that mixture back into the pot of milk to dissolve the cornstarch, making sure there are no lumps. Whisk in the eggs until incorporated well. Heat over medium-low, whisking constantly until mixture becomes thick and a bubble or two breaks the surface, continue to cook–whisking still–for another minute. Remove from heat and add butter, either whisking to combine or buzzing with an immersion blender. Divide pudding among cups, serve warm or cover and chill.