In my house, where there lives one Southern husband, one South Carolina-born hound dog and (when she is home for vacation) one Clemson University sophomore, good old banana pudding is a family favorite. The Southern husband claims that this is a traditional Southern dessert, and while this may be true, this Yankee girl is here to tell you that something made with homemade pudding, crushed vanilla wafers, bananas and whipped cream tastes pretty much perfect wherever you live.
I like to make mine in mason jars so that each person has their own private and personal portion, but this recipe will also work just fine in you want to make it in a regular serving dish. It’s nice and adaptable that way.
Now, part of the wonderfulness of this particular recipe is the pudding part. I’m not shy about using pudding mix on occasion, but not for this dessert…it needs and deserves the homemade stuff, and I promise, it’s not that hard and well worth the teeny bit of extra effort. Once you have made the pudding and waited for it to cool down (the waiting is the hardest part!), all you have left to do is put it all together. Now if you are going the mason jar route, fair warning that the servings will be big ones. (This has never been a problem in my house, but you may live with daintier eaters than I do.) You can of course use smaller individual glasses or bowls, or as I said before, a regular pretty bowl…whatever you decide, the assembly is the same.
Spread a nice layer of pudding on the bottom of whatever your serving receptacle is. Now layer on some crushed vanilla wafers, followed by some chopped banana. Repeat…pudding, wafers, banana. And to make it just plain perfect, top the whole thing with a generous later of homemade whipped cream. Sprinkle with some vanilla wafer crumbs, hand out the spoons and stand back. You have just made banana pudding heaven. And as the Southern husband would say, this is some good eating, y’all!
- 5 egg yolks
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 ripe bananas, sliced and quartered
- 20 vanilla wafer cookies, broken into small pieces, plus one extra crushed into crumbs
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- Make pudding: whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch together until smooth and set aside.
- Heat the milk in a medium sized pot until boiling. Remove from heat, pour into a measuring cup and pour in a slow stream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
- Pour the milk mixture into a clean pot and whisk over medium heat until it thickens. When it starts to thicken it will go fast, so whisk whisk whisk so you don't get lumps.
- Spoon the hot pudding into a bowl and add the vanilla and butter. Whisk until the butter is melted, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool, at least 2 hours.
- When pudding is cool, assemble in either single serving dishes or a medium serving bowl as follows: half the pudding, half the cookies, half the bananas. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Make the whipped cream by whipping the cream and sugar together until the cream forms medium soft peaks. Spoon cream onto the top of pudding, sprinkle with cookie crumbs and serve!