3 large egg yolks
2 1/4 cups half-n-half, divided use
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8-1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, 1/4 cup half-n-half and cornstarch until combined.
Heat the remaining half-n-half in the microwave until boiling.
Stir together brown sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stop stirring, and bring to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes, or until sugar thickens and starts to turn golden brown. The first bit of smoke that comes off the caramel is a sign you should whisk in the hot half-n-half. Gradually whisk in the half-n-half until combined. Temper the egg yolk mixture by gradually whisking a bit of the hot cream into the egg yolks, and whisking that mixture back into the saucepan. Whisk and cook over medium-low heat until custard starts to thicken. This will only take a minute or two. Strain the pudding into a medium bowl; whisk in vanilla and fleur de del. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Makes 6 servings