Darn it it’s been nearly two weeks since my last post! A first in the history of this blog. My only excuse is that I have been fighting off a crazy cold (there was also finals and travel but that’s not really an excuse). Today is day 16 since I first felt that little throat-tickle thing, and I’ve been sleeping a ton, drinking lots of water and chicken soup, and loading up on Vitamin C and self-pity. Anyways. Here’s a post!
I adore banana pudding. It’s not a dessert I grew up with- the first time I had it was in the college dining hall. In fact I can probably count the number of times I’ve had it on one hand, which is sad because it’s SO GOOD! The cookies turn cake-like when soaked in pudding, and the weird goopy consistency of bananas works perfectly with the other components. Apparently it’s a big thing in the South… I hadn’t heard of it when growing up in Minnesota and California, while my boyfriend was incredulous of my less than or equal to 5 times (he’s from North Carolina). We also didn’t have kudzu. You know that I love pudding in all its forms so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I made this. What is surprising is that I haven’t made it before.
I live by a fantastic independent coffeeshop (it was in the nytimes once!) that does signature less-coffee-ish drinks every season. I’m still dreaming of a lemon and rose and cucumber soda they did the summer I moved here. This fall, the drink was the Cosby Classic, which was a latte that tasted exactly like banana pudding, complete with a Nilla wafer on top. So of course I immediately walked to the store down the street and picked up ingredients for banana pudding, which meant Nilla wafers and bananas.
There’s always rum for rum! Because rum sounds like “room,” sort of.
Lots of banana pudding recipes on the internet are a little disgusting, probably still delicious. For instance, this one has you beat an entire package of cream cheese with a can of condensed milk, instant pudding mix, other stuff, and half a container of cool whip. I’m all for cream cheese (love scrambling it with eggs after a workout!), and condensed milk (I am Vietnamese after all), so I’m pretty sure it’s the container of “frozen whipped topping” that makes me go ICK. It’s also a ridiculously popular recipe so I’m sure it’s wonderfully delicious.
I was tempted to get instant pudding mix, but go big or go home, right? This is me taking risks and grabbing life by the pot. Sigh. Hyperbole aside making homemade pudding was definitely my adventure of the week.
I mostly followed the recipe on the back of the Nilla wafers box, plus a recipe from the internet that I cannot find right now but will keep looking for!
This recipe is a high-whisk investment
Separate the whites from the yolks so we can make the meringue topping. Then mix the yolks with the flour and sugar. We’ll use hot milk to temper the eggs so we don’t get pieces of scrambled egg in our pudding.
Once you’ve brought the milk (I used almond milk…) to a boil, slowly whisk in a little at a time into the beaten egg yolks + stuff. Once the bowl is warm on the bottom, then pour in the rest of the milk and whisk whisk whisk! Rinse out the pot, and throw everything back into it- it’s important to rinse out the pot so you don’t end up with burned bits of pudding in it.
Whisk and stir the pudding over medium heat until it turns glossy and thick. Some websites say it’ll take 15 minutes; it took me more like 3. Then toss in the butter and vanilla and whisk those in. Also throw in some Kahlua or other alcohol if you want. I loved the Kahlua flavor in the finished pudding. Set the finished pudding aside in that same bowl you used earlier, and toss it in the fridge to cool while you do the rest.
You really have to check your egg whites
They start out pretty reasonable, not eggstraordinary at all
Then little bubbles start to appear and everything starts to get fancy-looking
Once the champagne is gone, it starts looking even more fancy and shiny
Until finally it’s eight times its original size, and way glossy. It doesn’t remember where it came from at all. Can you talk about an inflated EG(G)O?
Once the meringue is done and glossy (add the sugar in around the second to last picture. Also I did just use five captions to lead up to that last one), you can layer your pretty pudding! I used a 9″x13″ pan because I wanted a pretty glass sides thing, but I wish I had an 8″x8″ or 9″x9″ glass pan so I could have more layers.
GOING BANANAS with photo size
First put a little bit of pudding on the bottom of the dish, then throw on a layer of wafers, a layer of bananas, pudding, wafers, bananas, pudding, a third layer if you can, and top with meringue.
Layer 1. Reticulating splines. Sim City reference, anyone?
Layer 2. Gesticulating Mimes. (sim city 4)
It would be so great if men were from marshmallow. Maybe not. I’d never keep a relationship for long because I’d eat him.
OK! Wish me luck on a recovery before Christmas from this bug. I went to the doctor on day 5 and she sent me home with Mucinex, but I’ll go back tomorrow and see what she says.
Seriously this pudding is so yummy.
ALSO HERE IS ANOTHER JOKE IT IS SO FUNNY.
IT IS SO FUNNY. Also this picture is all over the internet so I couldn’t figure out how to attribute it.
Banana pudding, from the back of the box + the internet
3/4 c sugar
1/3 c flour
2 c milk
2 tsp vanilla
2 TB butter (I use salted, if you don’t then add a dash of salt when you add the sugar)
3 TB rum/Kahlua/whatever liquer (how on earth do you spell that. liquor. liqueaur liquar) you want
Box of Nilla wafers
Make the pudding:
Separate the eggs. Put the yolks in a big bowl and beat in 1/2 c of the sugar and all the flour; put the whites in a separate bowl.
In a medium pot, bring the milk to a boil. Slowly whisk a little bit at a time into the yolk bowl, whisking constantly, until the bottom of the bowl is warm. Then add in the rest of the milk and whisk away. Rinse out the pot, then return the pudding to the pot and heat while whisking until it’s thickened and shiny and there are big, slow bubbles coming up. This will take a few minutes. Whisk in the butter, vanilla, and alcohol.
Transfer the pudding to the big bowl and throw in the fridge.
Make the meringue:
Beat the whites until small bubbles form, then disappear, and then soft peaks show up. Add the remaining 1/4 c sugar. Beat until stiff and glossy. Takes 7-10 minutes.
Assemble the pudding:
Slice the bananas. Smear some pudding on the bottom of a glass dish, then top with a layer of wafers. Top with bananas, then pudding, and layer until you’re out of pudding. I would suggest using not the whole box of Nilla wafers- some recipes suggest using 30, some 45. I did not want to count. Top the whole thing with the meringue, spreading all the way to the edges.
Bake in a 350 oven for 15-20 minutes or until beautifully browned. Either eat warm (cool slightly), or refrigerate for a few hours and eat chilled. SO GOOD.