Basic Vanilla Pudding

4 c. milk
¾ c. sugar
¼ c. cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
4 large egg yolks, beaten
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Place 3 ½ cups of the milk in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to steaming, but do not allow to boil. Meanwhile, place the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the egg yolks and the remaining ½ cup of the milk. Whisk until smooth. Use some of the hot milk to temper the egg mixture, then add the mixture to the milk in the saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce heat back to medium and continue to cook until the mixture thickens (about 4 to 5 minutes). Remove the pot from the heat and add the vanilla, stirring to combine. Cool completely.