This pudding is gluten-free, egg-free and comes with a low-fructose option. Use vanilla extract if you don't have vanilla beans!
I was sick with a terrible head cold last week. That means I was a very picky eater. I only wanted to eat macaroni and cheese, chicken soup, crackers and pudding. Since I have a bunch of vanilla beans left over from making my own vanilla extract, I decided to make some vanilla pudding. I couldn't find a recipe that was exactly like I wanted, so I did what I usually do and made up my own.
I made a reduced-sugar version, as well as a low-fructose version. I can eat real sugar in small amounts, but I didn't want to overdo it, so I came up with a version that uses dextrose instead of sugar, making it very low in fructose. Not being lactose-intolerant, I used 1% milk for this pudding. I haven't tried making this with a non-dairy milk, such as almond milk or rice milk, but you could give it a try. Also, if you don't have vanilla beans, you can use vanilla extract instead.
Vanilla Bean Pudding
1/3 cup pure cane sugar ~or~ 1/2 cup powdered dextrose
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk (I used 1%)
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped ~or~ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
In a large saucepan, whisk together the sugar or dextrose, the cornstarch and salt. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking. Add the seeds from the vanilla bean to milk mixture, along with the bean. Turn heat to medium-low and cook while stirring, until mixture thickens, but do not boil. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted. If using vanilla extract instead of bean, stir in with the butter. Discard vanilla bean and pour into four serving dishes. Chill before serving.