There are so many different ways to make Banana Pudding My Mother made it with cooked Jello pudding, I think, and used carnation milk instead of the milk that is on the directions on the pudding box. I don’t think she ever made her custard from scratch.
Through the years, the recipe in the South has evolved to using instant banana pudding and the favorite recipe seems to be the one that uses the sweetened condensed milk. A few weeks ago, I was browsing through my recipes and saw the recipe for Old Fashioned Banana Pudding that I had from one of Paula Deen’s cookbooks. I wondered to myself if I could make this or not. Last weekend I decided to give it a try.
It turned out well and you can’t just whip this up on a moments notice and you must stir, stir, stir. It is worth your effort and let’s give Paula some credit as she has taken a lots of criticism recently, the pudding wasn’t too sweet.
Old Fashioned Banana Pudding
one 12 ounce box vanilla wafers
1/3 cup unsifted cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar ( I used baking Splenda and it turned out just fine)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, cut up
5 perfectly ripe bananas
1 cup whipping cream, whipped with 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar (I used regular splenda instead and it turned out fine)
1. Line the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 inch glass casserole with about half of the vanilla wafers.
2. Mix the cornstarch, sugar, and salt in the top of a double boiler. Slowly add the milk and cook over simmering water until the mixture is thick, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Beat the eggs in a small heatproof glass dish and add about 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture to the eggs. (I used a 2 cup measure mixing cup) Stir, then add the eggs to the double boiler. Cook for 1 minutes more. (The custard should be about the consistency of mayonnaise. If it is not, keep stirring over simmering water until it thickens.) Add the vanilla and butter and stir until combined. Turn off the heat, transfer the custard to a bowl, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the pudding to prevent a skin from forming, and allow the pudding to cool to room temperature.
4. Slice a generous layer of bananas over the vanilla wafers. Cover with about half the pudding. repeat the layers–vanilla wafers, bananas, and pudding. Top with a thick layer of whipped cream. Serve at room temperature, or cover with plastic wrap and chill.
Even though I collect cookbooks, I do like to purchase them from time to time. One of the easiests ways to see if you want to purchase a cookbook is to visit your local library and check out a cookbook by that author. After reading it and copying a few recipes, you may think it is worth the money to invest in the cookbook or maybe not. That is how I got the Paula Deen recipe and I have never really followed her on the food channel.
However, if I want to find a recipe that is truly Southern, I can find it in one of Paula’s cookbooks. I will feature another recipe by Paula later this week because I found one of her cookbooks at a yard sale on Saturday. I will always think of Paula Deen as being truly Southern and a Steel Magnolia if there ever was one. She put Southern cooking on the map in the US and she seems to be genuine through and through.