The hiatus is over! Woo Hoo! The February Bar Exam has been administered and I can start cooking again and to celebrate... Homemade Banana Pudding.
Pardon me for a moment I am day dreaming of last Sunday morning. Where in the rehearsal room at church, we had breakfast casserole, pretzel crack and banana pudding. Worshiping the Lord and good food, the ultimate Sunday morning.
I grew up in a small church and some of the best Sunday lunches I have ever eaten were church potlucks OR getting to go to Cherry's BBQ both of which had Banana Pudding. Cherry's... now I really am daydreaming... Ok let me wipe the drool, I mean get back to reality. It started as an innocent post on Facebook about my friend Susan's pretzel crack. As in- we needed some A.S.A.P. I LOVE my friends. I am not sharing the recipe because I do not want others to know how to make it for the simple reason that I currently fit into my clothing. That led to a banana pudding request and then to breakfast casserole. So that is how breakfast Sunday came into being... Did I mention that I LOVE my friends? Those who request the food and those who make it.
I have made banana pudding in the past but it was a Paula Dean recipe. Not Yo Mama's Banana Pudding. It is delicious. Not traditional but delicious. When Lynn asked if we could bring something, I decided to put on my Supergirl cape and say "I can make banana pudding." Not bring make! I said it like I meant it- I owned that banana pudding- It was me and the banana pudding mano a mano. It would be a fight to the death and hopefully not the death of someone eating it. See- I had always cheated, instant pudding. Yes, there it is. A woman calling herself a southern cook owning up to using i-n-s-t-a-n-t pudding. It will be spelled or whispered going forward because that is what we do. Now I made it as homemade as possible by adding mashed banana but it was still well you know i-n-s-t-a-n-t. I do not even want to imagine the conversations my grandma has had with Jesus about her grandbaby using pudding from a box to make Naner Pudding, I am just glad she is not on lightening duty in Heaven. I would be toast, no not having it but being it. Ok- back to the pudding. It was time to put on my big girl Underoos and make homemade banana pudding, as in homemade pudding.
4-5 ripe bananas
1 box of Nilla Wafers (See my realization below better make it 2)
Ingredients for Pudding:
½ cup sugar
1⁄3; cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
4 cups milk*
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in pan over medium low heat.
- Gradually stir in milk, stir well.
- Stirring constantly for 12 minutes, until it begins to thicken.
The mixture will burn quickly so stir constantly.
- Reduce heat and let cook for ten minutes.
I continued to stir on a regular basis. You may let this cook longer than 10 minutes until it is the consistency that you prefer.
- Beat 2 eggs with an electric mixer.
- Stir 1/2 cup of the cooked mixture into the beaten eggs very gradually while continuing to beat mixture with electric mixer.
- Repeat 3 times.
- Pour egg into cooked mixture.
- Stir well and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- When slightly cooled, stir gently, and add vanilla.
* I used fat free evaporated milk. The evaporated milk gives the pudding a rich creamy taste without all of the fat of 4 cups of 2% or whole milk which is what you would use when using milk.
I did not cut the sugar but the evaporated milk is sweeter than regular milk so you could possibly cut it down to 1/4 cup and still be fine.
Peel and slice your bananas on the diagonal. This will make them lay flat. Since you will be slicing for a few minutes, I recommend slicing them in a bowl with a little lemon juice, maybe a teaspoon. This will prevent the bananas from browning. Toss the sliced banana in, stir and you will have lovely naners not ugly naners. Layer your serving dish with Nilla Wafers, a layer of bananas and then a layer of pudding. Depending on the size of your dish you may have multiple layers. I think my pan was 9x13 and it was one layer with a nice amount of pudding on top.
Now I cannot say this strongly enough- I do not like meringue. I would say hate but my grandma is probably still mad about the i-n-s-t-a-n-t and may someday control lightening. So, there will be no meringue on my banana pudding, ever. Unless you ask me for it. There will be, however; whipped cream and additional Nilla Wafers if there are any left after eating them with milk. Ahhhh! Now I see why grandma bought 2 boxes, smart Lady.
One final note about the pudding itself. It does not thicken much more once refrigerated than the consistency in the pan. Continue to heat until as thick as you would like it in you pudding. If you will be adding lots of Nilla Wafers you can leave the mixture a little more "runny" so the wafers will absorb the moisture and become cakelike. Sorry- drooling again.
I will end this post with more daydreaming of Cherry's BBQ. I must admit, I have not been in some time since it is "on the other side of Wilson" but my great grandma was a waitress there so it is an establishment. And hopefully, it is still as delicious as I remember it. BBQ, pudding, pudding, BBQ. Yum.