This is the best stuff, you just want to make a tub full. I make it often but it is ALWAYS on our Cinco de Mayo menu. The cookies are traditionally Goya Maria cookies, you can omit them or use Vanilla wafers but you should use these if you can find them. Look for them on the International aisle at your restaurant or if you have a Carniceria a Hispanic grocery store.
Notes from the Test Kitchen:
I love serving custards for dessert, and I definitely plan on serving this recipe again! The custard is super creamy and the spices are just right. Your friends and family will love this one!
1Simmer 3 cups milk with ½ cup sugar, lemon zest, and cinnamon stick.
2Meanwhile whisk yolks with ½ cup sugar.
3After milk simmers, remove from heat, then add in the remaining cup of milk to cool pot down a bit, then add milk 1 ladle at a time to temper egg yolks. Then pour this back in pan and stir. Add vanilla. Stir water into cornstarch and add to mixture. *See NOTE
4Turn heat up to medium and cook till Natilla is thick stirring constantly.
5Remove cinnamon stick and pour into serving dishes. Sprinkle with group cinnamon. Place one cookie on top of each pudding. Refrigerate till cold at least 2 hours.
6NOTE:I have an electric stove so I put my half and half and half with the additions on the lowest setting and let it start heating up. In the meantime I stir the sugar and egg yolks together and I go ahead and mix the water and the cornstarch together. Once that is done, I go back to the half and half mixture and I turn it up a couple of notches and then I start stirring immediately and I heat the mixture till it is steaming but not boiling, (my mother would call this scalding the milk) then I add in the cold milk.
Now here again at this stage, the chefs on TV will add a scoop or tow of milk and call it good. However, they have never cooked anything for me so I cannot vouch for their abilities but my mama was a great cook and she always said: to temper your milk slowly add in a ladle full of milk at a time while stirring your eggs well until you have ladled about half your scalded milk into the eggs. Then slowly whisk it back into your milk mixture. So I follow my mother's instructions and I have never scrambled the eggs or had to strain them after.