I'm a bit obsessed with real foodifying the junky comfort foods of my youth. Some of my favorite makeovers are nachos with homemade chips, french fries with gravy, the perfect mashed potatoes, gluten-free deep dish pizza, chocolate chip cookies, and salted caramels.
Recently nostalgia called again…
Remember vanilla pudding out of a box? I loved that stuff as a kid, and and now we can fall in love with homemade vanilla pudding all over again – real food style.
Here's what's in the boxed stuff:
Sugar, Modified Food Starch, less than 2% of Natural and Artificial Flavor, Salt, Disodium Phosphate and Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate (For Thickening), Mono- and Diglycerides (Prevent Foaming), Artificial Color, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Bha (Preservative)
I mean, how do they manage to shove so much junk into some simple pudding?!?
My version of homemade vanilla pudding (inspired from this one) is packed with grassfed milk and butter and eggs from pasture raised hens. Rather than white sugar crack, it's sweetened with mineral-rich maple syrup that also lends a caramel flavor when paired with pure vanilla extract. Finally, instead of something that sounds like lighter fluid, my version is thickened with arrowroot powder that is both nutritious and non-allergenic.
Best of all, this homemade vanilla pudding tastes way better than anything I've had out of a box.
By the way, my husband the Brit ( a.k.a. “Bloke”) looked at me a bit suspicious when I offered this “pudding.” As you probably know, in the U.K., “pudding” refers to all-things-dessert – unless we're talking Yorkshire pudding or blood pudding.
By British standards, my homemade vanilla pudding would be called vanilla custard.
Whatevs. It's a bowl full of happiness no matter what you call it.
Homemade vanilla pudding ingredients
- 5 1/2 cups of whole milk, from pasture raised cows
- 6 egg yolks, from pasture raised hens
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup of maple syrup (estimate based on your tastes for sweets)
- 1/2 cup arrowroot powder – get it online here
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt – this is my favorite sea salt
- 6 tablespoons of butter, from pasture raised cows
- 4 tablespoons of vanilla
Homemade vanilla pudding method
- In a large saucepan, whisk the milk, egg yolks, maple syrup, arrowroot powder and salt.
- Turn on stove to medium heat and whisk continuously as the mixture thickens, about 7-10 minutes. Take care not to burn the mixture.
- When the pudding is nice and thick and coats the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
- Pour the pudding into eight one cup mason jars or equivalent dishes and place in the fridge to chill.
Soooo yummy! My kiddos helped make it then ate their first bowls warm, straight from the pan b/c they just couldn’t wait.
I love ‘treats’ that I feel good about giving my family and I love teaching them that real food is delicious and satisfying. Thanks for all your awesome posts!
Wondering if the pudding will “set up” so that it could be made into a cream pie (in a crust made of almond/coconut flour of course), or flavored with cocoa to make a chocolate pudding/pie? I’d love to hear if anyone has done that!
Ooh, I haven’t tried that. Let us know if you try it. We’d love to hear about it.
Gudrun B says
I have made my own pudding for wages (because i always felt the box pudding were nothing but overpriced sugar) – to answer your question basically yes!
I am not sure how this recipe thickens, but i have made chocolate pudding by adding cocoa powder; then used the pudding and made butter cream (yes, I dislike frosting as well). By making your own pudding you can make it as sweet – or not very sweet at all, just to your liking.
I have no measurements – I go by eye sight and feel 🙂 heat a liter of milk slowly – oh reserve about 1/3 or 1/2 cup of cold milk and dissolve your starch (?1/4 cup or a bit more for thicker pudding) in that ( I use potato starch ) and I add raw sugar (1-2 Tbsp) and 3 Tbsp of cocoa powder if you want chocolate. Whisk the dissolved milk-starch-sugar into almost boiling milk until it thickens and then let cool. Egg can be added as well. The measurements are approximates only, sorry! But you can play with it 🙂
Gudrun B says
poor proof reading! not for wages rather for ages 🙂
We must be on the same food wavelength ;). I made this today with chocolate and gelatin. I’ve made the vanilla version several times and loved it but my daughter requested chocolate. I threw in the gelatin just to see what would happen.
I followed Emily’s recipe exactly but added the following:
-1/2 c baking cocoa
-1/4 c maple syrup (in addition to the 1/3-1/2 cup already called for in the recipe)
-2 scoops (20g) Vital Proteins Collagen Protein (gelatin)
It was so good! Chocolatey and thick but not gummy. It would be a great consistency for a pie.
This looks so good! I was just at the store looking at all their box puddings wishing that I could eat that kind of stuff but I just can’t bring myself to fill my body with crap but I do miss the vanilla pudding! I bet if you were to add some gelatin to the warm milk it would set up a little thicker and I’ll let you know how it turns out when I do.ke a beautiful cream pie I’m going to try it!
I bet with some grass-fed gelatin added in there it would set up nice in a pie!
Oops I hadn’t read kristi’s last comment! 🙂
Gudrun B says
I laughed so hard!!! “I mean, how do they manage to shove so much junk into some simple pudding?!?” yup, I feel the same way! For that reason I hardly ever bought boxed pudding after I moved to the US, just grossed me out! I grew up in Germany and Dr Oetker was the pudding! read the ingredients for that: Starch, salt, flavor, color: beta-carotene. NO SUGAR ADDED you add your own! One pack was the amount of starch needed for one liter milk. Once I figured how much starch I need it was way cheaper to make my own 🙂 I just never got to duplicate the raspberry pudding !