Homemade Vanilla Pudding

from melskitchencafe.com

*Makes about 3 cups of pudding

2 2/3 cups whole milk, divided

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 large egg

Over medium heat, bring 2 cups of the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. While it is heating, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium, heatproof bowl. Gradually whisk in the remaining 2/3 cup milk, a little at a time so lumps do not form, then whisk in the egg. Once the milk is boiling, very gradually add it to the cornstarch mixture in the bowl, whisking quickly the whole time.

Return the mixture back to the saucepan, stirring constantly with a silicon spatula, whisk or wooden spoon. Once it comes to a simmer, cook it for one minute longer (which will cook the cornstarch and egg fully). Large bubbles will pop at the surface and the pudding will become very thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Strain the pudding through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps or pieces of cooked egg into a medium bowl (you can omit this step if you don't have a fine mesh strainer - just try your best to whisk quickly during all the combining/cooking steps to avoid little bits of cooked egg). Cover the pudding with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the pudding, and refrigerate until chilled completely through.