2 1/2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup packed light brown sugar
4 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- Whisk together 1/2 cup of the milk and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Combine the remaining 2 cups milk and heavy cream in a 3-quart saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Meanwhile, whisk the sugar, egg yolks, and salt into the cornstarch mixture.
- After the milk comes to a simmer, slowly pour it into the cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking, until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract and butter until melted.
- Pour the pudding into a bowl or individual ramekins or parfait glasses and immediately top with plastic wrap pressed onto it to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least 3 hours before serving. Serve topped with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.