What is it about the South and banana pudding? I don’t know if it’s a tradition that goes back centuries or decades, but it’s firmly established now. Go to any picnic, church dinner, or country restaurant in this otherwise diverse region, and you’ll almost certainly find banana pudding among the desserts. It is the dessert of the South. (Sorry pecan pie and chocolate pie and sweet potato pie–but don’t worry, we’ll give you a try on down the road!)
So when Zach and Becca volunteered to make Sunday dinner for Jonah and Mrs. Brackett, they had some flexibility of choice for the main course (well, O.K., fried chicken had to be in there somewhere). But the dessert was a given.
And now you have a chance to enjoy this standard of the South with this quick and easy banana pudding recipe for two (or one–banana pudding is great for breakfast!). Whether banana pudding runs in your veins or this is your first try, you’ll love this recipe so much you’ll think about packing up and moving here (unless you’re here already, in which case–congratulations!).
And you’ll even get to eat it–which is more than Zach and Becca can say. But you’ll have to read or listen to the story to find out why they missed out on their banana pudding!
Southern Banana Pudding
1/3 cup granulated sugar
dash of salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup milk*
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large, ripe banana, sliced
18-24 vanilla wafers
*Use dairy milk only. Soy, almond, or other milk varieties will not set up properly. You can also use a combination of milk and cream for a thicker, creamier pudding.
In a medium saucepan, add the granulated sugar and egg. Whisk ingredients together until combined. To the egg mixture, add the salt, cornstarch, and milk; mix everything together. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking the ingredients together constantly. Continue to stir ingredients until the mixture comes to a boil; boil for one minute, stirring constantly, and then remove from heat. Add the vanilla extract to the pudding mixture. Allow to cool slightly.
In two serving cups, layer three or four vanilla wafers on the bottom. Top the vanilla wafers with a thin layer of pudding. Top the pudding with a few slices of banana. Repeat layers until ingredients are used, ending with pudding on top. Cover the pudding and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. When ready to eat, crumble a few vanilla wafers and sprinkle on top of the pudding. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.
Now to find out what happens to Zach and Becca’s banana pudding . . .
Birthday Dinner, Part IV, audio © Jeffrey Anderson
Birthday Dinner, Part IV, text © Jeffrey Anderson
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