1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the cornstarch, sugars, and salt. Gradually whisk in the milk and half-and-half. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Whisk about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks. Return to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Continue to boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter pieces until they are completely melted. Whisk in the vanilla. Cover the pudding with waxed paper and let cool to room temperature.
3. Spoon the pudding into a serving dish or individual containers, cover with plastic wrap (pressing it directly onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming), and refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until well chilled.
TO MAKE AHEAD: Refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.
From From Our House To Yours. Compilation copyright © 2002 by Chronicle Books LLC. Foreword copyright © 2002 by Joyce Goldstein. Photographs copyright © 2002 by E.J. Armstrong. All rights reserved. First published by Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco, California.
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