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“Banana Pudding” • April 1, 2006

But what about the bananas?


This is a based on one of Miss DNA’s traditional family recipes.  AND — we experimented with it in the fabulous research kitchens of Chez Meredith and found some even more wicked variations that will really make you toes curl!!!  Stay tuned!!

First — let’s use Miss DNA’s recipe to make the definitive banana pudding!  Actually, the recipe is from Miss DNA’s grandmother — it’s been around for “quite” a while — and boy oh boy is it yummy!

AND — it breaks one of the Chez Meredith rules a little in that it requires quite a bit of manual labor.  But take heart — manual labor is what guys do best — I mean, providing manual labor for girls is their life!  SO — round up your male of choice, add a leash if necessary, and let’s get started!!!

For the pudding you’ll need:

1/2 cup of sugar

1/3 cup of flour

1 dash of salt

3 egg yolks

2 cups whole milk

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 male for vigorous stirring

For the meringue you’ll need:

1/4 cup of sugar

3 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

coconut to sprinkle on top (OPTIONAL)

For assembly you’ll need:

5 bananas

12 oz box of vanilla wafers, (I only use Nabisco’s Nilla wafers!!  They’re the best — and Miss DNA thinks that this recipe from her grandmother originally appeared on the Nilla wafer box a long, long time ago!  And don’t wimp out and use the “reduced fat” variety — we’re making the best — you can jog tomorrow!)

So — get started by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and let’s make the pudding first.

Fill the bottom of a double boiler with water and bring it to a boil.  Dump the sugar, flour, and salt into the top of a double boiler.  Don’t even THINK about doing this is a regular pan — I can’t begin to image what a mess that would make!!  Blend in the egg yolks and the milk.  Now cook it for about 10 minutes, or until thickened, over the boiling water.  STIR CONSTANTLY!!!!  DO NOT STOP STIRRING EVEN FOR A SECOND!!!  Do you see why we needed the male?

Once it has thickened to a nice pudding, remove it from the heat and add the vanilla.  By the way — if you stop right here, you have got a dynamite vanilla custard!!  Try pouring it over Blue Bell’s homemade vanilla ice cream!!  Oooh — yummy!!!  And we’ll use it in some other recipes in the future, too!!

Get out a 1 1/2 quart deep baking dish so we can assemble everything.  Be CAREFUL because the vanilla custard pudding is HOT and worse it will stick to you!  Put a couple of table spoons of pudding in the baking dish and shove it around with the spoon just to “wet” the bottom and the bottom third of the sides.  Carefully place a layer of vanilla wafers to cover the bottom.  Place a third of the bananas on top of the cookies.  Now take some additional cookies and stand them up vertically around the sides of the pan.  The other cookies and bananas should prop them up.

Slowly pour a third of the pudding on top of the cookie-banana layer.  Pour slowly so you don’t mess up the layer and shove it all to the sides.

Now, make another cookie and banana layer on top of the pudding, and again add more cookies vertically to the sides.  Pour on another third of the pudding.

And finally, make a third layer the same way, (and don’t forget the vertical cookies,) and pour on the last of the pudding!!  It already looks super, super yummy!!!

Now let’s make the meringue for the top.  In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and the cream of tartar on high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time while beating on medium speed.  After all the sugar is added, beat 4 minutes longer or until sugar is completely dissolved and stiff, glossy peaks form.

Carefully spoon the meringue over the custard, making sure that you get it spread evenly to cover the entire surface — and make sure you get it all the way to the edge of the baking dish to seal it to edge.  Otherwise it will shrink on you!!

If desired, lightly sprinkle coconut on top of the meringue.  Now carefully, (remember that the pudding is hot and the dish is heavy — sounds like a male job,) put it into the pre-heated oven.

It should bake for 15 to 20 minutes on a middle rack until the meringue is just starting to have a little brown tinge.  You’ll need to experiment with your oven to get it just right, (they all cook a little differently!)

Let it cool for a few minutes to the “warm” stage, then shovel it out to your gang and watch the feeding frenzy begin!!!  Woo-Hoo!!

AND — in shoveling it out is where inspiration stuck me!  Steven doesn’t like bananas.  Steven hates bananas!  BUT — I convinced him to give it a try — and after “tasting” a quarter of the entire bowl, he decided that it was “OK.” (He also thinks my Bananas Foster is “OK” too!  GUYS!!!)

But anyway — he admitted that it was good — (I didn’t have to beat him at all — Honest!) — but suggested it would be even better without the bananas.

Hmmm — what if I leave out the bananas and just replace them with more cookies???

Hmmm — and what if I tried different cookies — like Oreo’s???  That would add a little chocolate treat!!  And Oreo’s these days come in a zillion different varieties — I wonder what double stuff ones would taste like?  Or the chocolate-chocolate ones?  Or maybe some of the Uh-Oh’s??

Hmmm — or what about Graham Crackers???

Hmmm — and I wonder what it would do with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in the layers instead of cookies???

WELL — needless to say, this is gonna be an ongoing little story!!!  It’s gonna take us a little time here in the Chez Meredith research kitchens to work through all the possibilities, but I STRONGLY encourage you to do a little research of your own!!  I’ll bet you can design a truly wicked little cookie pudding treat!!!  And if you create a riot amongst your group — you’re own your own!!

Love,

Meredith


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Last Updated: April 2006


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