The Dreamiest Banana Pudding
Confession: I'm weird about fruit. All fruit. I love it, but I have parameters. And with bananas, those parameters go like this: I won't eat them by themselves. I don't like banana flavored things, like that awful Laffy Taffy that always wound up in my Halloween candy. And bananas are always best with peanut butter or chocolate. But, this banana pudding proves that last one wrong.
I had plans to spend the 4th of July with my sister and nephews on Lake Travis, and it's just understood by this point that I'll show up with dessert. I asked what she wanted me to bring, thinking it would be my very popular Lemon Icebox Pie, or maybe her personal favorite, tres leches cake. But then my nephew requested banana pudding, and well, history was made.
I did some research and was disappointed to find that most banana pudding recipes out in the world use boxed Jell-o pudding mixes and Cool Whip. That's not at all my style, so I was quite pleased to find one that suited me a bit better: rich, indulgent, perfectly vanilla custard-style pudding and fresh whipped cream, layered with ripe banana slices and finished off with classic Nilla Wafers. It's best when allowed to chill in the fridge for several hours before serving, and if there's any left, even better the next day.
This one is dreamy, y'all. So far I have six requests for it to be made again, so it looks like we'll be doing banana pudding all summer long around here!
Adapted from The Baker Chick's recipe
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 2 egg yolks, room temperature
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 medium ripe bananas, sliced
- 1 box of vanilla wafers
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Combine the sugar, cornstarch, egg, egg yolk, whole milk, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk together until combined, then continue whisking constantly over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until the pudding thickens and starts to bubble.
- Remove from heat and add in the butter, continuing to whisk until completely melted. Transfer pudding to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for 30 minutes or until cool.
- Place a single layer of vanilla wafers on the bottom of a bowl or serving dish, then a layer of banana slices, then a layer of pudding.
- Repeat this vanilla wafer, banana, pudding layering, finishing with pudding on top. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and chill for several hours or overnight.
- Just before the pudding is ready to be served, put your mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer until very cold. When cold, whip together the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract/paste until peaks form.
- Top the pudding with the whipped cream, then sprinkle some crushed wafers over the top of the pudding. Keeps well in the fridge for 3 days. Serves 8.