baking is comfort, the warmth from turning on the oven,
the dries and the wets melt together.
watching things rise and puff.
but some days are pudding days.
days for turning the flame on low and lurking over a pot of hot liquid.
stirring and stirring, babying it, never leaving it's side.
when it's november and the weather keeps doing what it's doing,
any day can be a pudding day.
vanilla beans and bourbon make this pudding a luxury.
the moment milk transforms into gloopy beautiful custard...
it's like whoooaaaa, this is totally pudding man.
i ate some and soon realized i had too much and in a stroke of sweet genius tipped it into a graham cracker crust layered with sliced banonos.
top it with whipped cream and you have a damn classy bourbon banana cream pie.
Vanilla Bourbon Pudding
adapted from smitten kitchen
2 2/3 cups whole milk, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
1 large egg
2 tsp bourbon
bring 2 cups of the milk to a soft boil in a medium saucepan. while it is heating, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, and the vanilla bean (if you're replacing it with extract, don't add it yet) in the bottom of a medium, heatproof bowl. gradually whisk in the remaining 2/3 cup milk, a little at a time so lumps don't form, then whisk in the egg. once milk is boiling, very gradually add it to the cornstarch mixture in the bowl, whisking constantly.
return the mixture back to the saucepan, stirring constantly with a silicon spatula. once it comes to a simmer, cook for one minute longer (which will cook the cornstarch and egg fully.) stir in the bourbon and vanilla extract (if using). divide pudding in a bowl or among individual dishes and chill in refrigerator until fully set, about 2 hours. press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the top surface of the puddings so as to prevent a skin from forming.
eat some. then make a pudding pie.
to make a Vanilla Bourbon Pudding + Banana Cream Pie:
Make a graham cracker crust by mixing graham cracker crumbs with a bit of sugar and pinch of salt. then slowly stir in melted butter until it resembles wet sand and clumps together if you squeeze it in your hands. press it into a pie plate or tin and bake for about 10ish minutes.
oR buy a pre-done graham crust. whatever gives. no one's watching.
fill the bottom with sliced bananas. then pour in some pudding over the top. then top with some barely sweet whipped cream.
caramel would be good too. also pecans...a pecan graham crust, do that.