Homemade Banana Pudding

Here’s a banana pudding that looks very similar from myrecipes.com.

If you remember from earlier this week, I was going to build a table for Hero Headquarters. Things didn’t pan out the way I expected so that project is on the back burner for now.

I did have a taste for a dessert though. I hadn’t had one since we got married last weekend and it was high time to get in the kitchen and make something totally from scratch with tons of love. Earlier this week, Audra (The Baker Chick), posted this recipe for homemade banana pudding. Everything from the vanilla custard to the wafers were in one easy-to-follow recipe. Yes!

The Hero reminded me though that we don’t really like the banana pieces in banana pudding. Could I make it with banana filling instead? Made from real bananas, not the fake, Now-and-Later banana flavoring? Sure. A culinary challenge. Bring it.

Homemade banana pudding
adapted from The Baker Chick
makes 8-10 servings

Vanilla pudding
3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 and 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
3 cups whole milk (don’t substitute for anything else, or it won’t be as rich)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine the sugar, cornstarch, egg, egg yolk, whole milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Whisk together until combined, then continue whisking constantly for about 10 minutes, until the pudding thickens and starts to bubble. Add in the butter, remove from the heat, and whisk until completely melted. If there are any lumps, pour the pudding through a mesh sieve into a separate bowl. Allow pudding to sit in the fridge for 20-30 minutes, until cool to the touch.
Banana filling
16 oz. (about 4 large) ripe bananas, pureed
2 tablespoons brown sugar (or to taste depending on how sweet the bananas are)
3 oz. (3/8 cup) milk
5 oz. (5/8 cup) heavy cream
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine the banana puree, brown sugar, milk and heavy cream. Stir constantly until heated through and brown sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes, until cool to the touch.
Vanilla Wafers
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk (or half and half)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.  Add the egg, vanilla, and milk and mix well. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir well.
Either scoop the dough into a large piping bag (or just a Ziploc bag) and squeeze out rounds of dough or just use a small scoop to portion 1-inch rounds on a cookie sheet.  Use your fingers to flatten slightly.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until the bottoms begin to turn golden brown.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Meringue topping
1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
4 large egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Put a mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer.
Mix sugar and cornstarch in sauce pan. Stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Cover and cool completely in fridge while assembling the pudding, about 10 minutes.
Assembly
When the pudding and filling are cooled, begin layering. First, place a layer of banana filling in the bottom of a round 9-inch bowl (or something of similar size). Follow that with a layer of vanilla wafers (perfection isn’t necessary). Next, a layer of pudding. Repeat this banana filling, wafer, pudding layering until the last layer is pudding. Put in the fridge while finishing the meringue topping.
Remove sugar mixture from the fridge.
Beat egg white and salt in large bowl with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks just begin to form. Very gradually beat in sugar mixture until stiff peaks form. The egg white mixture should look glossy.
Spoon meringue over assembled pudding. Spread over pudding, carefully sealing meringue to the edge of the bowl (prevents shrinking). Bake about 15 minutes or until meringue is light brown. Cool away from drafts. When completely cooled, cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The banana pudding will keep  in the fridge for 3 days.
Pudding recipe adapted from : Crepes of Wrath 
Vanilla Wafer recipe adapted from: Fix Me a Snack
Meringue recipe from: Betty Crocker’s Cookbook
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