- 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
- 2/3 cup sugar
- Pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine 2 cups of the half-and-half, the sugar, and the salt in a saucepan and stir.
- Put over medium-low heat.
- Cook until the mixture just begins to steam, 2 or 3 minutes.
- Combine the cornstarch and the remaining 1/2 cup half-and-half in a bowl and whisk to make a slurry; there should be no lumps.
- Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan.
- Raise the heat if not much is happening and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and just starts to boil, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to very low and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens noticeably and starts to stick to the pan, another 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in the butter and the vanilla extract.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl big enough to hold it or into 4 to 6 small ramekins or glasses.
- Put plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding to prevent the formation of a "skin," or, pudding skin, leave it uncovered.
- Refrigerate until chilled, at least an hour, and serve within a day.