- 2 1/4 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon popcorn kernels
- 3 large egg yolks
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a large saucepan, combine the milk, cream, sugar and salt and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
- In a medium pot, heat the oil. Add the popcorn kernels, cover and cook over moderate heat until they start popping. Cook, shaking the pot continuously, until the popping has almost stopped, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour all but 1 cup of the popcorn into the cream mixture, cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Reserve the remaining popcorn for garnish.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the cornstarch until smooth. Strain the hot cream mixture into a clean medium saucepan; discard the solids. Bring the cream to a boil over moderate heat. Gradually whisk 1 cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks, then scrape the mixture into the saucepan. Whisk the pudding over moderate heat until it just comes to a boil, about 2 minutes. Stir in the butter and vanilla.
- Scrape the pudding into a medium baking dish. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until chilled. Spoon the pudding into bowls, sprinkle with the reserved 1 cup of popcorn and serve.
The pudding can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.