Vanilla Custard with Bananas & Vanilla Wafers

This recipe is adapted from an Alton Brown’s Refrigerated Banana Pudding recipe. This version reduces unnecessary fat and sugar. This photo shows the pudding before it is fully assembled.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoons butter (optional but adds a touch of richness and gloss)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Approximately 45 vanilla wafers (I use Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 3 ripe bananas, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds (2 large or 3 small bananas)
  • 1 cup whipping cream, very cold

Directions

  1. Using a whisk, combine milk, sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium heat on stovetop.
  2. Allow milk to scald (heat to the point when tiny bubbles form around edges of pan). Whisk occasionally.
  3. Remove milk mixture from heat.
  4. Temper the eggs by adding about 2 tablespoons of the hot milk into eggs. Whisk it all together and then add the eggs into the hot pan, stirring constantly.
  5. Return the pan to heat and whisk gently until custard thickens, another two or three minutes. Do not boil.
  6. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla.
  7. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and into a bowl for cooling.
  8. Cover the surface of the custard with a round piece of parchment and refrigerate until the pudding reaches 45 degrees F, approximately 2 hours.
  9. When the pudding is cool, remove the parchment and whisk or beat with a blender to cream it up. Sometimes I add a bit of milk if it seems too thick.
  10. Spread a small amount of pudding in the bottom of a 1 1/2-quart glass mixing bowl. Cover with a layer of vanilla wafers, followed by a layer of banana slices. Spoon 1/3 of the remaining pudding on top of the bananas and repeat, ending with a layer of pudding.
  11. Put the whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer, 1-2 tablespoons of sugar and whisk just until stiff peaks form.
  12. Spoon the whipped cream over the cooled pudding and spread to cover completely. Top with any remaining cookies.
  13. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Alternate recipe by Trisha Yearwood. I watched this episode on Food Network. It looked really good, but I haven’t tested it yet.

  • †4 large eggs (3 yolks plus 1 whole)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus a pinch salt 
  • 2 cups whole milk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 30 to 40 vanilla wafers 
  • 3 to 4 medium ripe bananas 
  • Separate the yolks from the whites of 3 of the eggs; set aside the whites. Add the remaining whole egg to the yolks.
  • In a {cold} saucepan, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, the flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in the whole egg and 3 yolks, and then stir in the milk. {Now turn on heat} Cook uncovered, stirring often, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  • Spread a thin layer of the pudding in a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish. Arrange a layer of vanilla wafers on top of the pudding. Thinly slice the bananas crosswise, about 1/8 inch thick, and arrange a layer of banana slices over the wafers. Spread one-third of the remaining pudding over the bananas and continue layering wafers, bananas and pudding, ending with pudding.
  • Top with whipped cream
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