There is definitely something comforting about banana pudding. It could very well be the perfect dessert. My daughter calls it "heaven in a bowl". She gets her dramatics from me, lol. But, she makes a point. It is just a delicious dessert that is a real crowd pleaser. Before you open that box of pudding and that box of vanilla wafers, let me share with you the homemade version. Banana pudding from scratch, yes please!! It starts with the pudding, here's how I made it:
2 cups organic whole milk
1/2 cup organic granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 large organic eggs
1 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
Directions: In a large bowl, add 1/4 cup of the milk. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add the remaining 1 3/4 cup milk, the sugar, and the vanilla extract. Heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has steam coming off of it. Do not boil. While the milk/sugar mixture is warming up, crack each egg over a small bowl so the whites go in the bowl while each egg yolk gets added to the mixing bowl with the milk (this video will show you how easy it is to separate the yolk from the egg white). Add the corn starch to the milk and egg yolks and whisk very well until most if not all of lumps of corn starch are gone (I had a few left). Set aside. Once the milk/sugar mixture is ready, you are going to the temper the egg yolks. This is just a fancy way of saying we want to bring the temperature of the egg yolks as close to the temperature of the hot milk mixture so we don't end up scrambling the eggs. The way I did this was, with a whisk in my right hand, I scooped a 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture with my left hand. I slowly poured the hot milk into the bowl of egg yolks whisking continuously. I did this a second time with the same amount of hot milk. I immediately began to add the tempered egg yolk mixture to the saucepan with the hot milk, adding it slowly and whisking continuously. Keeping the mixture on medium-low, I cooked for about 6-7 minutes. You have to stir frequently otherwise the mix may begin to stick to the bottom of the pot. You can use your whisk at this point, or switch to a spoon like I did. Once the mixture has thickened, where it coats the back of a spoon, it is ready to be transferred to a bowl and placed in the freezer. Just place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the mix, just tuck it down in the bowl, making sure the plastic wrap touches the pudding. I kept the pudding in the freezer for almost an hour, giving me plenty of time to make the vanilla wafers.
1 stick organic unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup organic granulated sugar
1 large organic egg
2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup organic all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Directions: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar and mix on high for about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed and add the egg and vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the flour to the mixer and turn the speed to low. Mix until just combined. I always use a rubber spatula to do the last couple of mixes, just so I don't run the risk of over mixing. Put in the fridge to cool for about 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a small cookie scoop (tbsp size) add the cookies to the baking sheet, leaving about an inch of space between them. Bake for 9-12 minutes until golden brown on the bottom (the tops won't brown). Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 1 minute. Move the wafers to a cooling rack to cool completely. Makes 24 wafers.
3-4 organic bananas, sliced
Whipped Cream, if desired
Directions: In an 8 x 8 baking dish, add 8 wafers followed by 1/3 of the pudding. Add 1/2 of the banana slices. Add 8 more wafers in a layer, it doesn't have to be perfect.Top with 1/3 of the pudding and the remaining bananas. Add the last layer of wafers and cover with last of the pudding. Cover with a lid or some foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
Tip: Some people like a layer of whip cream on top of their pudding, and if that is you then by all means add it. I didn't have any heavy cream or else I would have added it as well. This recipe was inspired by a recipe featured on a food network show. The original recipe can be found here . I altered the quantities, particularly the pudding, because I was using an 8 x 8 pan. The host used a larger pan. I did however, follow the recipe for the wafers but I only got 24 because I used a small scoop which is roughly the size of a tbsp. If you don't have a scoop and used a teaspoon, you might end up with what the recipe says which is 48. However, this is a really small batch of dough, I would be surprised to get 48 wafers. As such, you could easily double or triple both recipes depending on how much you wanted to make.