Banana Custard with 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.

The amount of sugar added, in my opinion, is the least possible amount that should be added – it’s just sweet enough – very possibly not sweet enough for some. Taste the pudding while it’s still hot. If you’d like to add additional sugar, stir it in until fully dissolved.

Ingredients

Custard
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I use 1/2 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large yolk (I skip this)
  • 2.5 cups whole milk (I use whatever milk I have)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (I use 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use 1 teaspoon)
  • 45 vanilla wafers (I like Trader Joe’s Organic Vanilla Wafers)
  • 3 ripe bananas, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 4 ounces banana liqueur (I skip this)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (I skip this)
Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1- 2 tablespoons powdered or fine grained sugar

Directions

  1. Off heat, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, and eggs in a medium saucepan. Whisk to combine.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 172-180 degrees (or starts to boil), approximately 7 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla.
  4. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and into a bowl for cooling.
  5. Spray a round piece of parchment paper with cooking spray and cover the surface of the custard. Refrigerate until the pudding is completely cold, approximately 2-3 hours.
  6. 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.
  7. Spread a small amount of the 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.
  8. Put the whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar beat with whisk attachment just until soft peaks form.
  9. Spoon the whipped cream over the cooled pudding and spread to cover completely.

Another one I’d like to try: Southern Banana Pudding from Add a Pinch

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (I would use no more than 3/4 cup)
  • pinch salt
  • 3 large eggs separated (you’ll need whites later for meringue)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 box vanilla wafers approximately 45 wafers
  • 5-6 bananas
  • 3 egg whites reserved from above
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325º F.
  • Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large, heavy saucepan.
  • Lightly beat egg yolks and combine with milk in a large bowl or measuring cup. Pour the egg and milk mixture into dry ingredients in heavy saucepan. Cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, until ingredients are thickened and smooth. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • To layer your banana pudding, begin by placing vanilla wafers on the bottom of a 2 quart oven-safe glass bowl or baking dish.
  • Slice bananas and place on top of wafers.
  • Pour one-third of custard over wafers and bananas.
  • Repeat layering process two more times until all wafers, bananas, and custard have been used, ending with a final layer of wafers. 

For the Meringue:

  • Whip egg whites with an electric mixer set at high speed.
  • Allow egg whites to foam, add cream of tartar and then gradually add sugar one tablespoon at a time.
  • Continue whipping until sugar is well-dissolved.
  • Add vanilla once stiff peaks have formed and whip until well-combined.
  • Spread meringue over banana pudding, making sure to spread to the edges of the dish.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned.

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