Southern Banana Pudding
serves 6-8 (depending on how greedy)
1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup condensed milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
50 vanilla wafers
2 large bananas, cut into ¼-inch slices
¾ cup heavy cream, chilled
¼ cup powdered sugar
Prepare a casserole dish (anything above one quart will do, and non-stick cooking spray is optional).
In a medium sauce pan briskly whisk together the milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, egg, and egg yolk. Once well combined place the pan over low to medium heat, being sure to continuously whisk (helps to avoid clumps and eggs cooking) until thick and bubbling.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter and vanilla extract; whisking until completely melted. Pour the custard through a strainer into a separate bowl (just as a last measure to remove any cooked eggs and clumps, trust me, I just learned this and its a hell of a baking tip) then cover with plastic wrap to cool briefly in the fridge.
In the prepared casserole dish begin your layering. Some people prefer bananas first, I start with place of the vanilla wafer cookies to act as a crust like any pie would, then top with a layer of the sliced bananas. Pour over 1/4 of the custard and spread to the edges. Repeat this process three more times then top the last layer of custard with a layer of vanilla wafers. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least four hours.
Whip the heavy cream with the vanilla and the powdered sugar until it reaches soft peaks. Spread the whipped cream over the chilled pudding. Top with crushed vanilla wafer cookies if you like.
Also new is my handy dandy presentation step, because let's face it, we all love Nigella Lawson (if you don't..here's the door) and she was right, we need to learn not just how to cook, but how to eat. Baking for yourself and others is just as indulgent and satisfying as plating up a playful dish that could make Pierre Herme quiver.
For banana pudding, there are so many options you can try. I simply walked around Granny's house and saw a myriad of options including layering in mason jars (couldn't use hers because she is old school and bought the ones with the corny fruits emblazoned on them) or using cocktail glassware (anything from flutes to tumblers) that are chilled for a cool frosty look as seen above. What are some of your presentation ideas for pudding!?photo here
well its a four hour wait, so will have to get back to you on this...please forgive me! (oh but I can tell you the homemade whip cream is heaven on a spatula stick, and don't let anyone tell you different)
WHAT I LEARNED:
this is new, but along with my "verdict" endings, I want to introduce a learning ending as well, because as a beginner baker hoping to make it pro, it only makes sense that I document my tricks of the trades, and hopefully in the sharing process, others can save time and money too! so today, while making this exquisite little southern treat, I actually learned a few new things even after having made this dessert at least a dozen times. for one, instant boxed pudding is completely unnecessary. i hope you at least try this recipe once to see for yourself. second, i alwaysss used to get cooked eggs in my batter. yuck. it was such a nightmare, that sometimes I even had to start over. well whisk the darn ingredients together first before going stove top, duh! lastly, whilst making the whip cream in my handy dandy (ok it is Granny's) KitchenAid, I realized low-medium speed gets you whip cream the texture of ReadyWhip found at supermarkets, while medium-high speed gets a supremely rich and dense creamy texture that is great for the cream needed to fold into the custard (a la Magnolias Bakery in NYC). so there ya go!