Yesterday was Robert’s birthday, and since he doesn’t like cake, I had to find something different for his “birthday cake.” Then I stumbled across a recipe for banana pudding. Hubby loves banana pudding so I knew it would be perfect. Even better, the recipe was from one of my favorite Food Network shows: “Down Home with the Neelys.” They are so much fun to watch because they have a lot of passion for cooking and for each other.
I was nervous because I’ve only had banana pudding a handful of times, and truthfully, I don’t remember how it should taste. I could have been safe and gone the instant mix route, but I am determined to bake from scratch every time. So I put on my apron and gave it a shot.
Mama Daisy’s Banana Pudding
2 – 12 oz cans of evaporated milk (do not use fat free- the pudding takes much too long to thicken)
5 – bananas (cut into slices)
6 – tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 – egg yolks
2 1/2 – cups sugar
1 – teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 – stick butter (cut into cubes)
1 – box vanilla wafers
In a pan (3qt) mix together the flour and sugar, then add the evaporated milk. Make sure mixture is on a low heat and keep stirring until it thickens.
Side note: I used fat free evaporated milk and it took me an hour to thicken the sauce (even then it wasn’t very thick). On the show, it took fifteen minutes for the mixture to thicken, so I recommend using a regular can of evaporated milk.
Meanwhile, beat your egg yolks slightly, and once the mixture is thickened, add a ladleful to the eggs. Mix together, and when combined, add to the flour/sugar/milk mixture. Whisk until completely mixed (about 2-3 minutes).
Take the mixture off the heat and add the vanilla extract and butter. Put pudding into another bowl, cover, and leave in refrigerator for 2 1/2 hours.
Side note: I left it for longer than 2 1/2 hours and it was a nice, thick consistency.
When the pudding is almost set, be sure to whisk your heavy cream into the whipped cream.
Now that everything is ready to be put together, get a big bowl and put a layer of vanilla wafers on the bottom. Next put a layer of bananas, followed by a layer of pudding, and top with whipped cream. Continue this process until you are out of ingredients. On the last layer of whipped cream, crumble some vanilla wafer cookies.
I was thrilled when Robert told me it tasted just like it should. It was frustrating when I thought the sauce wasn’t going to thicken, but I stuck with it and am so glad I did. I feel really accomplished to have made a dessert from scratch. If I make banana pudding next year, I’ll have to get a little cake topper for on top (hopefully it won’t sink into the pudding).