Do you like banana flavoring or hate it? I hate it because to me it tastes so fake. How is it possible that we can have Chicken and Waffles flavored potato chips but can’t have real tasting banana flavoring? You would think someone would have invented this by now.
Anyways, I am bringing this up because my disdain of artificial flavoring has made me have a complex relationship with banana pudding. Any pudding made of out a mix (whether instant or stovetop) in my opinion is an absolute no go. And because of this, I would never, ever try banana pudding whether it was at restaurant, a potluck, or a family reunion. Because you had to actually put the pudding in your mouth before you could tell it had been made with fake banana flavored mix. The only way I would eat it was if someone could tell me up front what was in it.
And then, one day I had my Great Aunt Bea’s banana pudding. Homemade banana pudding. I about cried. Maybe I did cry. I can’t remember. I just know that it tasted the way I thought banana pudding was supposed to taste… rich, creamy, and just like real bananas.
Once I declared it the best banana pudding I had ever eaten, my Great Aunt Bea would make it for me every chance she had. And my Nana would too, always using Aunt Bea’s recipe.
That was years ago though, and I now live 3,000 miles away from Nana. And my Aunt Bea has passed away. So it’s pretty difficult to enjoy their banana pudding.
Then one day, I had a massive hankering for banana pudding. Not just any old banana pudding. THE homemade banana pudding. We are talking a massive hankering. I could only vaguely remember the recipe so I called my Nana and asked for her help. But unfortunately, she couldn’t entirely remember it either. I was pretty sad as I hung up the phone.
A couple of hours later, I was sorting through my cookbooks on my shelf, and a sheet of paper fell out. I picked it up and saw that it was a handwritten later addressed to me. It was written eighteen years ago. I started reading it. And lo and behold, it was from my Aunt Bea. And it had the homemade banana pudding recipe in it! I kid you not! Can you believe that? The same day I am talking to my Nana, I find a sheet of paper I found a sheet of paper I had forgotten about for almost two decades. Crazy. What are the odds of that?
This is how to make Aunt Bea’s banana pudding, in her own words,
“In a saucepan, put sugar, a dash of salt, milk, butter, and cornstarch (I use arrowroot powder) in a little water. Cook on medium heat, stirring. As it heats up, add 2 beaten egg yolks, and vanilla. You don’t want this too thick. If it is too thick at this point, add more milk (without cooking more). Put this in the refrigerator and let cool. Layer vanilla wafers and bananas over top. Cover with whipped cream.”
Actually, that’s mostly what she said. She actually said Cool Whip in her handwritten note, but I don’t cook that way. I cook from scratch (as you should know, that’s what my whole blog is about).
I also don’t use boxed vanilla wafers either. They are packed with additives and chemicals. I always make my own, and believe me, they are so, so worth it. In fact, my husband, Erik, said that they make crazy good banana pudding taste like extraordinary banana pudding. I like to eat things that taste extraordinary any day of the week. What about you?
So are you ready to make some banana pudding? It a great day to bake (or, in this case make some pudding)!Print
Rich, creamy, and made from real, from-scratch ingredients, this homemade banana pudding can’t be beat! No boxed mix is required, just a whisk and a pot!
30–40 homemade vanilla wafers
4–5 ripe bananas
2/3 c. granulated sugar, plus 2 Tbsp.
2 1/2 c. grass-fed milk
1 Tbsp. grass-fed butter
5 1/2 tsp. arrowroot powder
2 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. heavy whipping cream
dash of salt
Place a metal bowl and a metal whisk in the freezer for fifteen minutes.
In a saucepan, put sugar, a dash of salt, milk, and butter. In a small bowl, make a slurry of arrowroot powder and a little water. Add the slurry to the saucepan.
Cook on medium heat, stirring. As it heats up, add 2 beaten egg yolks, and the vanilla. Cook until thick, but not too thick (as my Aunt Bea would say).
Put the pudding in a bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool. While the pudding is chilling, remove the whisk and bowl from the freezer. Place the remaining 2 Tbsp. of sugar to the metal bowl and add the cream. Whisk until stiff peaks are formed.
When chilled, begin to layer in a large serving bowl or trifle vanilla wafers and sliced bananas. Follow each layer with some of the chilled pudding.
Cover with whipped cream.
From my Aunt Bea. (I love you!)
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