You don’t normally think of pudding as a sophisticated dessert, but this buttermilk vanilla pudding is somewhere between regular old pudding and panna cotta in texture. Lightly sweetened so that the sugar just highlights the vanilla and with the buttermilk providing a bit of contrast, it has a complex flavor that makes it worth savoring, although it’s so delicious you probably won’t want to.
Vanilla Buttermilk Pudding (adapted from Simply Recipes)
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons water
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half
2 cups full-fat buttermilk
In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin into 2 tablespoons of water and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, sugar, and salt, and cook over medium-low heat. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the mixture and add the pods. When the sugar has dissolved, turn off the heat and pour 1/2 cup of the warm mixture into the gelatin. Stir well and then whisk the gelatin into the cream. Set the cream mixture aside while it cools to room temperature.
When the cream is cool, pour in the buttermilk, and stir. Spoon 1/2 cup of pudding into ramekins, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for four hours or more. Serve with a tiny dollop of jam, if you like.