Nana’s Cornstarch Pudding

My father’s grandmother, Nana, used to make a simple vanilla pudding with cornstarch. More often than not, there was some waiting for my dad in her fridge to eat. It was once a lost recipe but we kept going back to the drawing board until we got it right. Good thing Dad was a willing taste-tester! When served in small individual pudding cups, it makes for a easy make-ahead dessert. -C

Nana’s Cornstarch Pudding

4 T. cornstarch
2 cups plus 3 oz. whole milk
1/2 t. vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
2 T. butter
pinch of salt

1. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and 3 oz. of milk with a fork to make a slurry.
2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the egg and sugar until blended. Add in the 2 cups of milk and mix thoroughly.
3. Over medium heat, cook the mixture while whisking until it just begins to bowl. Add the cornstarch slurry.
4. Whisk the mixture until it comes to a boil, being careful not to scorch the bottom of the pan. Then, take the pudding off the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla.
5. While still hot, strain the pudding through a fine sieve or chinois. Pour into small serving bowls and chill for several hours.

Yields: 18 oz. of pudding or a little more than 2 cups. We sometimes garnish the cornstarch pudding with a spring of mint, strawberry, or raspberry. Once chilled, the puddings will have a slight skin on top, but this is normal. If you desire to avoid it, you can use plastic wrap laid on top of the pudding.

© 2020, Blue Willow Kitchen


  1. I work at a nursing home as a physical therapist and my patient is nearing 99 years old in March 2021, she told me that she used to make cornstarch pudding and I looked it up and found your recipe. Thank you for posting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My grandmother and mother always made Blancmange (cornstarch pudding) for Easter. They would drain a can of crushed pineapple and add it to the pudding. I carry on this tradition for our Easter dessert.

    Liked by 1 person

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