Vanilla Pudding

Pudding Pudding Pudding. What a wonderful word! It rolls off the tongue just like the substance itself.  I’ve had a lifelong love of pudding that began as a child. Back in the early 80s, my mom would often send me to school with a packed lunch containing (if I was lucky) some Del Monte canned pudding. Don’t scoff!  That canned pudding was DIVINE. Who knows what crazy artificial preservatives and flavorings it contained, all I know is it was ADDICTIVE. I used to inhale those little tab top pudding cans, longing for more. I still dream about them to this day.. (can you tell?) and last night those pudding memories came flooding back.. calling to me like sweet sirens.  I was in dire need of some pudding.  After flipping through all the cookbooks in the kitchen, I settled on this ‘family favorite’ recipe from Southern Living.  All it required was stirring and easy ingredients, all of which I had on hand.  Apart from my arm tiring slightly (and who doesn’t need a pre-pudding workout?) this recipe was a snap!  And the pudding itself??  Oooohhhh.  Sweet, with an eggy richness my older daughter describes as “ice cream-esque.”  If you like the taste of French Vanilla, you will LOVE this dessert.

Yields 8 (1/2 c.) servings.

SODIUM CONTENT: 53 mg per serving


1/2 c. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
4 egg yolks
3 cups low fat milk
2 T. unsalted butter
2 t. pure vanilla extract


Measure the sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks and milk into a heavy saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a bowl, stirring constantly with a whisk (about 20 minutes). Once boiling, continue whisking for roughly a minute, until thickened. Remove pan from heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla until melted. Pour into cups, placing plastic wrap over the surface to keep skin from forming. Refrigerate several hours, until cold.

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8 Responses to Vanilla Pudding

  1. *om nom nom*
    Are you gonna’ eat yours?!
    Because I’ll take it.
    I’d hate to see any go to waste, you know. 🙂

  2. Christy says:

    Hah!! Already gone unfortunately. I am a pudding junkie!!

  3. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I love pudding, too. My favourite is mixing a packet of instant pudding into Greek yogurt and going to TOWN. That stuff gets so thick it’s crazy. But the idea of all the crap that’s in one of those packets is a problem for me, and I’ve always thought about trying to make my own. Who knew it was so easy?!

  4. Christy says:

    My mom used to make packet pudding all the time when we were kids. My favorite was always the green-tinted pistachio flavor, which likely contains zero real nuts but always looked and tasted great. We also used to enjoy fake whipped topping made from packets (and also the frozen tubs too). And we all wonder why everyone’s developing cancer?!! I jest, but… This morning I woke to a new Twitter follower called Forks over Knives. Their profile reads, ” FORKS OVER KNIVES examines the claim that most degenerative diseases can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.” Pretty compelling stuff.

  5. Chris L says:

    Oh Sweet Jesus, the canned Del Monte vanilla pudding… I was born in ’83, and I remember LOVING that pudding. I almost thought that I had imagined the “canned pudding” thing, somehow mixing up my memories of pudding cups with canned fruit cups. Thankfully, I found this article, proving I didn’t make that up. Now, if only they still sold the stuff…

    • Christy says:

      Hahahahahhh! Thanks for the laugh, Chris. Glad to know I’m not the only one longing for that old canned pudding.

    • Ann says:

      If anyone remembers Kresges Dimestore and sitting at the fountain with an apple dumpling, the pudding used on top of each apple dumpling was from the can. Oh it was so good to.

  6. Bryan Austin says:

    Do you consider your recipe a close match to those Del Monte puddings in a can? If so, I want to try it!! The vanilla was my fave.

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