I sat down to write this post this morning – a post about banana pudding (and an excellent one at that) – when I got sidetracked. I was trying to come up with a title, and I kept getting stuck on the silly name that my mother had for banana pudding when I was little: nanner-poo (please don’t judge). From there, I got an endless loop of this:
Do you remember Nannerpuss? When my oldest son was around three years old, this commercial was popular. A friend/coworker and I had a mild obsession with this obnoxious dancing and singing banana puppet – mostly because my little boy would sing that annoyingly catchy song in his adorable little three-year-old voice.
As an aside – what does a banana really have to do with pancakes, anyway? Ponder that and get back to me.
And that jingle? It really is hard to get out of your head. So this morning? When it got stuck in my head? I decided I needed to share it with all of you so that you could share in my
misery joy. Now you, too, can enjoy this little ditty every time you make this glorious banana pudding (nannerpuss) recipe.
Now, onto the recipe. This is an adaptation of an adaptation, so forgive me for indulging in a little background first (as though I haven’t already been more than a little self-indulgent this morning – see above). As a southern girl, I grew up on banana pudding – layers of ‘Nila Wafers, sliced bananas, vanilla custard/pudding, all topped with a toasty meringue. Delightful. The one thing that always bothered me was that the pudding/custard didn’t taste banana-y enough. And why should it? It was vanilla pudding after all.
So, I set out to figure out a way to make my custard more banana-y. Because, hey! why not?
I turned to my trusty pals at Tastespotting, knowing that someone, somewhere, sometime must have had a similar idea. And lo and behold, I was right. Boulder Locavore (who I love, by the way), posted this version a while back. It was an adaptation of award winning Chef Alex Seidel‘s recipe, which calls for you to make a banana-infused milk before you begin to make your pudding. You do this by steeping very ripe or roasted bananas in whole milk and then letting the mixture sit overnight to allow the flavors to infuse. I was intrigued, so I thought I’d give it a go. Of course, I changed things up just a bit (as I do), but mostly I followed the recipe fairly closely. What resulted was the most flavorful, silky-smooth banana pudding I’ve ever had. Try it – I don’t think you’ll be sorry.
Nannerpuss Banana Pudding
prep time: 24 hours
cook time: 15 minutes
yields: 12 servings
- 30 oz. banana milk
- 4 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3 very ripe bananas (the skin on mine was almost black they were so ripe)
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- 2 1/2 oz. sugar
- 1 oz. butter
- 9 oz. sugar
- 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 5 oz. egg yolks (approx. 7 egg yolks)
- 8 oz. whole eggs (approx 5 whole eggs, without shells)
- 1 3/4 oz. cornstarch
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 2 ripe bananas, sliced
- 1 box vanilla wafers
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Begin a day in advance – place your whole milk, very ripe bananas, vanilla bean (seeds and pod), 2 1/2 oz. sugar and 1 1/4 oz. butter in a heavy saucepan and bring almost to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover, and chill overnight.
- Strain the banana milk through a fine mesh strainer, pressing with a rubber spatula to extract as much liquid from the bananas as possible. Discard the mashed banana and vanilla bean pod.
- Combine banana milk, sugar and salt in a heavy saucepan – bring to a simmer
- In a blender, combine egg yolks, whole eggs and cornstarch. Blend on high to thoroughly combine.
- Once the milk mixture has come almost to boil, temper the egg mixture by adding a little bit (1/2-cup or so) of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture in the blender while it is running. Then add the egg mixture to the hot milk, stirring constantly to avoid curdling. Be careful – it sets up fast.
- Stir constantly, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan as you do. Remove from the heat if it starts to get too thick.
- Once the mixture is thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat and pour it through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps.
- Add the melted butter, stirring to combine.
- Set aside to cool.
- Whip the heavy whipping cream and 1 tablespoon of sugar to stiff peaks
- To assemble – have ready 12 half-pint mason jars
- Place two vanilla wafers in the bottom of each jar
- Place two to three slices of banana on top of the cookies
- Ladle 1/2-3/4 cup of custard into each jar
- Place two more vanilla wafers and three more banana slices in each jar
- Ladle the remaining custard into each jar
- Top each jar with a dollop of whipped cream.
- Enjoy warm, or chill if you prefer.
PS – voting in the Marx Foods’ Integrale Gauntlet is still open (until 1 PM PST tomorrow, in fact), so if you haven’t already, please go take a look at my Risotto Carbonara recipe, and then click over there and vote (for me, if you’re so inclined). Thanks!