I had a hankering for banana pudding recently. The kind I had as a kid, with the round vanilla wafers. My mother always used instant vanilla pudding, but I liked this one from CHOW called Easy Vanilla Pudding. Boy, it lives up to its name and the batch size is just right for four to six servings. After making the pudding it’s just a matter of adding cookies and sliced bananas for a nostalgic treat.
Making this recipe gave me a chance to use my 8 ounce ramekins. I bought them a few weeks back and I refused to let the clerk bag them. Naturally they slipped right out of my hands and broke. The store manager allowed me to grab a new set, but I felt like a clumsy dolt. You can believe I carried the unbroken set out of the store with two hands!
I really wasn’t interested in making my own vanilla wafers so I purchased them. Any type of butter cookie would work I’m sure, including the Maria cookies we used to make Natillas. Consider the container(s) you want to use to serve your pudding. The vanilla wafers I used fit perfectly into my ramekins. I placed them curved side out to fit the curve of the bowl.
You can strain the pudding, but I didn’t bother. Instead, I was diligent about whisking and scraping the pan while the pudding was cooking and used a ladle to fill the ramekins so I could avoid dipping up any lumpy bits.
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot (or corn starch)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2¼ cups milk
- 3 egg yolks, beaten
- 3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- vanilla wafers (I used 28 to fill four 8 ounce ramekins)
- 1 banana, sliced into rounds (I had 24 slices)
- Mix the sugar, arrowroot and salt in a heavy saucepan, off the heat.
- Add about a ½ cup of milk and whisk together.
- Place the pan on the stove over medium heat.
- Stir in the rest of the milk and the egg yolks.
- Whisk constantly while the pudding is heating up.
- As the pudding begins to thicken and bubble, switch to a spoon or spatula and reduce the heat as necessary.
- The pudding is finished when it drops off the spoon in ribbons that aren't quickly absorbed into the pudding. It will take 10 to 15 minutes from the time you put the saucepan on the heat.
- At this point, remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
- To assemble the puddings, put a cookie in the bottom of each ramekin and fill halfway with pudding.
- Arrange banana slices on top of the pudding and place four vanilla wafers around the edge of the ramekin.
- Add more pudding to fill the ramekin and top with more banana slices and cookies.
- Chill for at least 2 hours before eating.
I love the addition of the butter at the end. It gives the pudding a nice creamy texture. I had a little pudding and some lumps left in the bottom of the sauce pan when I finished filling the ramekins. Good thing I had more vanilla wafers to scoop it up! I hope you’re inspired to make your own pudding soon.