Honey Vanilla Pudding

Disclaimer -- this week's photos are brought to you by theHubby's cell phone and the bare-bones photo mutilating editing software that came with his laptop. Very dark cooking utensils provided by the newly-weds-to-be (easier to photograph cookware will be on their registry ... I hope).

We are visiting the Left Coast to help theDaughter, who is undergoing round 4 of chemo.  AlmostSonInLaw purchased a honking large bar of Valrhona chocolate for me to make something out of it with (I didn't major in English, Dear Reader ... chill).

So I made a batch of honey vanilla pudding.

Of course.

daDaughter doesn't care for chocolate.. Chocolate pudding will be made later.  Honey Vanilla pudding is a step easier since no chocolate needs harming in its production.

Honey Vanilla Pudding
makes 4 servings

2 Tbl. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg yolk
2 cups milk (low-fat okay; do not use skim)
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
cinnamon, to garnish (optional)
whipped cream (optional)

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and salt. Whisk in 1/4 cup milk, a tablespoon or so at a time, to create a slurry. In another small bowl, add egg yolk. Set both aside.

Pour remaining 1 3/4 cups milk into a medium saucepan and set over medium heat.  Stir in honey. Heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until steam starts to rise and tiny bubbles form at edge of saucepan.  Whisk the slurry once again (because it separated a bit), then slowly stir into hot mixture.

Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens (this can happen quickly before it starts to boil so pay attention). Remove from heat. Whisk a little of the hot mixture into yolk to temper it (which prevents curdling ... not a good thing).

Then stir yolk mixture into pudding, followed by vanilla.

Pour into individual serving dishes. If you don't like the skin that can form over pudding, immediately press a piece of plastic directly onto the surface of the pudding. I don't, so I didn't.

If desired, sprinkle with a cinnamon, now or just before serving.

Chill completely. Or eat it warm. Either way, optionally top with a dollop of whipped cream just before serving.