Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Labor of Love Banana Pudding

Made from scratch pudding, caramelized bananas, toasted Nilla wafers and maple whipped cream.
I made this banana pudding for my parents while I was visiting them in Houston last week. As I gave my momma the grocery list she was shocked that it didn't include vanilla pudding mix, she was further surprised by the time and "labor of love" that goes into scratch-made desserts. While we were cooking together she was doubtful that all the extra time and work would be worth it but she recanted vehemently after the first bite of the finished product.

If you are accustomed to mixing the pudding, pouring it over slices of banana and Nilla wafers and calling it done then prepare for a little more prep time- I promise it's worth it!!

3-4 ripe bananas
Half a box of Nilla wafers
2 c. Whipping Cream
3 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
3 c. 2% or low fat milk (I mix them together)
3/4 c. Sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 c. Flour
4 Tbsp. Butter (room temperature)
2 Tbsp. Vanilla
3 Egg Yolks
A little shake of cinnamon

First thing to do is caramelize your bananas. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a saute pan. Slice bananas diagonally for longer slices and add to pan. Brown on both sides. Set one banana's worth of slices aside and mash them well. Set aside. Allow the rest of the slices to cool- these will be layered in the dish.

In a bowl, combine the sugar, salt, and flour; stir to blend. Slowly stir in milk until smooth. Pour into the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture begins to thicken. If you don't have a double boiler- no problem! Set a metal mixing bowl or pot over a larger pot of simmering water. Just make sure that the top bowl/pot isn't touching the simmering water below. Since I was at my parents' I had to do the pot in a pot method and it worked fine.
My "Double Boiler"
In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks; gradually whisk in about 1 cup of the slightly thickened hot milk mixture. Return egg mixture to the double boiler, stir in the vanilla, butter, and a little shake of cinnamon and continue whisking and cooking until well thickened. This takes a little time so pull up a stool. Remove from heat and mix in the mashed bananas until the pudding is smooth again. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl whip the whipping cream with the maple syrup until soft peaks form. Gently fold half the whipped cream into the cooled pudding. Set the other half of the whipped cream in the refrigerator to keep cool.
Fold in the maple whipped cream
Arrange a single layer of Nilla Wafers on a baking sheet and toast lightly in the oven at 350 or on a low broiler setting.
Toasted Nilla wafers smell so nice.
You can serve this in one large dish or in small individual dishes. Either way you choose layer toasted Nilla wafers, sliced bananas, and pudding and repeat. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a cookie.
Caramelized bananas layered over toasted Nilla Wafers
It's worth the time and effort and your family and friends will know you love them when they take a bite!

Enjoy and please let me know if you make any delicious alterations or upgrades!

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