Not My Grandmama's Banana Pudding
We don't know exactly where banana pudding originated but we know it's never a bad time for a good banana pudding. This sweet treat is something we hold dear in the Black American community, although there is controversy on the "right" way to make it. Some make a custard, top it with a meringue, and bake in the oven. Some use instant pudding and nilla wafers. We make our pudding from scratch, fold fresh whipped cream into the pudding, & use chessman cookies instead of nilla wafers. Sprinkle a little Serengeti on top or add to the pudding for a cinnamon-y vibe. The goal is the perfect ratio of pudding/cookie/banana and we definitely did that!
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1-½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2-3 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
- 3 large bananas, sliced
- 2 packages of Chessman Cookies (crushed) or whichever butter cookies you like
Add the first 5 ingredients to a cold pot and whisk to combine. Turn your burner to medium heat. Stir. Don't take your eyes off the pudding because it can thicken quickly. Also don't stir more than 3-4 times before it thickens.
When the pudding starts to thicken, stir with a spoon occasionally making sure the pudding doesn't stick the bottom and sides of the pan. When the pudding is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, turn off the heat and add butter and vanilla. Stir to combine.
Strain the pudding through a mesh strainer, seal with plastic wrap touching the surface of the pudding, & refrigerate about 3-4 hours or overnight.
Add heavy cream to your stand mixer (or use hand mixer) and whisk until the cream starts to thicken. Add sweetened condensed milk and continue to whisk until the whipped cream forms stiff peaks.
After pudding is chilled, gently fold in whipped cream until full incorporated.
Slice bananas and crush cookies.
Layer pudding, cookies, bananas in a bowl or mason jar and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to soften the cookies and combine the flavors. For a little razzle dazzle & cinnamon-y, warm vibe, sprinkle PanAfrica! Serengeti Spice Blend on top. Serve and enjoy!