Makes 4 servings. Difficulty
1/3 cup sugar 2 Tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 cups half and half 1 vanilla bean, split lenthwise
Place sugar, cornstarch and salt in a heavy saucepan. Whisk in 1/3 cup half and half until blended and add vanilla bean mixture in saucpan. Place over medium heat and stir in remaining half and half. Continue to cook, stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken. Reduce heat to low; simmer, stirring constantly for an additional minute. Remove vanilla bean.
Pour pudding into four 5-6 ounce ramekins or into a large bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto pudding surface to prevent a skin from forming.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 2 days. Serve with fresh fruit (optional).