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THE Best Banana Pudding Recipe Ever

Can I just say that the grandmammas of yester-year had it figured out. They made the very best home-cooked meals. When you talk to any man nowadays, around ages 40 and up, they’ll tell ya that nobody cooks like granny used to. And what I’ve learned is that most of the time, those grannys kept it simple. Was it out of necessity, or just pure culinary genius? My guess is both. But whatever the case, here is just another example of the many times you’re better off to live by the motto “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And this recipe definitely ‘ain’t broke.’

It’s simple and it’s perfect and it’ll take your husband back to ‘days gone by’. And if he never had those ‘days gone by,’ well this is the perfect recipe to start your own ‘days!’ Ya’ll enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
4 large eggs
6 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla
Salt to taste, about 2 teaspoons
2 boxes of Nilla Wafers
6 ripe bananas

FOR THE MERINGUE:
8 egg whites
½ cup sugar

UTENSILS:
Large saucepan or iron skillet
Whisk
Large oven-safe bowl
Large metal mixing bowl
2 qt. pot with a few inches of water in it
Hand mixer or stand mixer

DIRECTIONS:

FOR THE MERINGUE:
1. Put a pot on the stove and put enough water in it so that it comes up a few inches on the sides. Make sure that the water will not touch the mixing bowl that will be set on top of the pot.
2. Put your metal mixing bowl on top of the pot of water, and add the egg whites and sugar.
3. Turn heat on medium low, just enough that there is a calm, constant boil. Not too much of a boil.
4. Whisk continually until the sugar has fully dissolved into the egg whites and there is no graininess left.
5. Once the egg mixture is smooth, use either a hand mixer or a stand mixer and beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.

FOR THE PUDDING:
1. In your saucepan, before turning on the heat, mix your sugar and flour together until pretty well combined.
2. To the sugar/flour mixture, add the eggs and half of the milk. Whisk together until smooth.
3. Add the remaining milk, vanilla, and salt.
4. Turn heat on low, and whisk continually, especially as the mixture warms up. It will be liquid almost right up until it’s not. It will thicken very quickly once it heats up, so if you walk away, it could be detrimental. So plan to stay right the oven until this step is over. It should take between 5 and 10 minutes.
5. When the pudding is thick enough to just begin leaving a decent trace, turn the heat off. It will thicken as it cools. Knowing exactly how thick to allow the pudding to get may take a time or two of practice, but it makes for some delicious experimenting. What you want to do is err on the side of ‘too thick.’ You can always add a little milk after it cools some, if it’s too thick. But if you remove it from the heat too soon, it may be too runny to make a good pudding.
6. Slice your bananas and pre-heat the oven to 300°F.
7. To the oven-safe bowl, add about ¾ of a box of Nilla Wafers. Top it with half of the banana slices.
8. Pour half of your pudding over top of the bananas.
9. Now pour the remaining Nilla wafers over the first layer of pudding, and top it with the remaining banana slices.
10. Pour the remaining pudding over top of everything.
11. Cover the pudding with the meringue, being sure to cover all the way out to the edges of the bowl.
12. Bake for about 15 minutes or so, until the tips of the meringue are golden brown.
13. Serve warm (our favorite) or chilled.

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