When in Mississippi, it’s not pudding. It’s puddin’.
Banana pudding is the fried chicken of desserts. I swear, I think it’s the reason they make vanilla wafers. It makes an appearance at just about every picnic, every family reunion, every funeral, and sometimes when you’ve just had a baby. Last summer, the evening before I was scheduled to give birth to Little Tot, my best friend invites The Husband and me over for – you guessed it – banana pudding. Afterwards, while everyone is leaning back in their chairs, rubbing their bellies, and moaning about how full they are, I get up, waddle back into the kitchen, and fix myself another bowl. Pregnancy is the only time you get a free pass for being a glutton.
Before I began this series, I solicited suggestions from my friends and readers on what I should include in the lineup. A co-worker suggested banana pudding, but it had to be “real” banana pudding. I knew exactly what she meant. If you’ve had your fair share of banana pudding during your lifetime, you do too.
So, how do you spot a banana pudding imposter? The biggest tip-off: If one of the ingredients is banana-flavored pudding.
True, genuine, authentic banana pudding uses vanilla pudding and gets its flavor from slices of real banana. The vanilla wafers soak up the pudding and become almost cake like. Top the whole thing off with whipped cream. Real whipped cream is preferred.
It’s true heaven in a dish.
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar, divided
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons water
- 3 egg yolks
- 4 cups heavy cream, divided
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 large bananas
- 4 cups vanilla wafers
- In a double boiler, mix together the flour, 1 cup of sugar, and salt. Add water and stir until mixture forms a paste. In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs and three cups of heavy cream. Stir into paste. Allow mixture to simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla, stirring until butter has melted. Let cool.
- Arrange vanilla wafers in a single layer on the bottom of a 9 x 13 x 2 inch casserole dish. Slice bananas and layer over vanilla wafers. Pour vanilla pudding mixture over bananas and vanilla wafers.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6-8 hours.
- Before serving, beat remaining heavy cream on high with an electric mixer. Slowly add sugar. Continue to beat until still peaks form.
- Spread whipped cream over pudding.