Banana-y Banana Pudding
Stop everything. I just made a Banana Pudding that's better than Magnolia Bakery's version, which I LOVE. Yes, I just threw down the kitchen mitt. Fight me. 🍌 I find it odd that banana pudding desserts and banana cream pie use vanilla pudding layered with bananas. The whole point is to eat banana flavors not vanilla. For this extra Banana-y Banana Pudding dessert I mix-and-matched recipes using Serious Eats' banana pudding recipe, Well Floured's vanilla wafer cookie recipe, and folded whipped cream into the pudding to make it extra fluffy. The end result is Fizzleberry approved! She stole a few bites during the photoshoot so her cute little beak-y face is covered in pudding.
Creamy Banana Pudding
This warm and creamy banana pudding recipe from Serious Eats is exactly what I imagined banana pudding should be like. The recipe is a simple custard recipe: infuse milk with super ripe bananas for 4 hours to overnight. Strain out the bananas, reheat the milk, temper in the egg yolks, and whisk until you get pudding consistency.
At this point it's hard to resist spooning all the warm banana pudding straight into your mouth. Maybe set a small bowl aside to enjoy while you do the next step. Cover the pudding with a plastic wrap and place the wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding to prevent forming a "pudding skin." Chill in the refrigerator until cool.
Oops, Too Much Salt Vanilla Wafers
While the pudding is chilling make the vanilla wafer cookies. I used Well Floured's recipe which was a softer cookie than Nabisco's Nilla Wafers. You could also buy a box of Nilla Wafers but if we're going this far to make banana pudding from scratch we might as well go all the way.
I prefer to crumble the cookies into the pudding, in which case the cookie texture wasn't a big deal. If you prefer to layer the cookies and let them soften to a cake-like consistency, maybe a crunchier vanilla wafer cookie would be better.
I made a mistake in the cookie recipe and added too much salt. I used 1/2 tablepoon instead of 1/2 teaspoon of salt. The cookies were too salty BUT it was a happy accident because the extra salt in the cookies were EXCELLENT when layered into the banana pudding. The end result was a sweet and salty flavor that helped cut through the sweetness. This is when not being precise worked in my favor because I made a super delicious discovery!
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Get the Recipe
Made from scratch version that’s better than my favorite banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery. This version of the layered classic dessert is made with banana pudding -- milk steeped with ripe bananas, folded with whipped cream, and layered with salty homemade vanilla wafers and banana slices for the perfect balance of sweet and salty. A Baking With Chickens Original Recipe Hack.
Time to Prepare: 1 hour 15 minutes active baking time, plus at least 8 hours total of chilling time. (30 mins banana milk + 30 mins vanilla wafers + 15 minute assembly / 4 hours or more infuse banana milk + 2 hour pudding chill + 2 hour final chill)
Makes 1 large trifle style, or 4-6 small mason jars
Creamy Banana Pudding adapted from Serious Eats
3 1/2 cups of milk (any percentage, whole milk will give you a richer, creamier flavor)
5 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 empty vanilla bean pod
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
10 large egg yolks
1. Make Banana Milk: Combine 3½ cups milk, mashed bananas, and vanilla in a medium pot and bring to simmer over medium heat. Stir with a flexible spatula to prevent burning along bottom. When milk comes to a simmer, remove from heat, cover, and let stand until cooled to infuse the banana flavor, at least 4 hours. Refrigerate overnight and up to 24 hours for a stronger banana flavor.
2. Make the Custard: Strain the banana milk through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium sized bowl. Press gently on the banana mash to get as much liquid out as possible. Save the pulp to use in muffins, pancakes, smoothies, or feed it to the chickens! Chickens love bananas.
3. Using the same medium pot that the banana milk was in, whisk together 1 cup sugar, ⅓ cup cornstarch, ½ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves. Whisk in the 10 egg yolks, then whisk in the banana milk. Return to the stovetop and warm over medium-low heat, whisking gently until custard is steaming hot, about 5 minutes.
4. Increase heat to medium and continue cooking and whisking constantly until custard thickens, about 5 minutes longer. You’ll see and feel the custard transform from a runny liquid into a thick custard that will coat the back of a spoon. When it begins to bubble, set a timer and continue whisking for 90 seconds to cook off the egg proteins.
5. Take it off the stove and pour the pudding through the fine-mesh sieve into a medium sized bowl to strain out any cooked egg chunky bits to ensure that you have a smooth pudding.
6. Cover the pudding with plastic wrap pressed on top of the pudding to prevent forming a “skin.” Set aside to cool to room temp while you make the vanilla wafers. When cooled to room temp, place into the fridge to chill for at least 2-3 hours to overnight before folding in the whipped cream in the assembly step below. Warm pudding with cold whipped cream will turn into a soupy mess. You need cold pudding with cold whipped cream.
Salty Vanilla Wafers adapted from Well Floured
1 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon salt
4 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 large egg
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 tablespoon salt. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the 4 tablespoons of softened butter and ½ cup sugar. Add the 1 tablespoon vanilla and egg.
3. Gradually add the flour, and mix just until combined. Chill dough for at least 10 minutes to prevent cookies from spreading too much while baking.
4. Roll in 1 teaspoon size balls, and place on a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet
flatten the balls slightly, and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
Assemble the Banana Pudding
1 pint heavy whipping cream, cold
3-4 ripe bananas, sliced
1. Whip 1-pint of cold heavy cream until you get whipped cream. No need to add sugar.
2. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the cold banana pudding into the whipped cream. Start with 1/3 of the pudding, fold into the cream, add another 1/3 of the pudding, keep folding until incorporated. Fold gently to not deflate the air out of the cream. The result is a light, fluffy banana pudding mousse.
3. Layer spoonfuls of pudding with salty vanilla wafers and sliced bananas. I put them into small mason jars but you can use any dish big or small, any size. Be generous with the cookies and sliced bananas! Cover and refrigerate for a few hours for the pudding to soften the vanilla wafers into a soft cake-like consistency if you can stand to wait. Or eat it immediately if you like the crunchy and soft texture contrast.
4. BOOM! Best Banana Pudding in the entire world. Try not to inhale the entire batch in one sitting.
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