Banana Pudding with Peanut Butter Whipped Cream! I know, it’s January and we are supposed to be talking about salads and diets. But I just read an amazing post from Anne Lamott about the fallacy of diets, and I just got The Southerner’s Cookbook for Christmas. And Banana Pudding does have a marketing backstory with Nabisco Nilla Wafers. Enjoy this Elvis-inspired version fit for the King.
Banana Pudding4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter 4 large ripe bananas, peeled and sliced in rounds (I used 8 bananas!) 4 large egg yolks ¾ cup sugar 3 Tablespoons cornstarch ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt 2 cups half-and-half 1 cup whole milk (I used evaporated milk.) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Vanilla wafers Peanut Butter Topping 2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons cold heavy cream ¼ cup creamy peanut butter (I used 1/2 cup peanut butter.) 3 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar 1 cup crushed vanilla wafers
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced bananas, tossing to coat, and salute for 3 to 5 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the bananas are soft and lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, ¼ cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, and salt until smooth and pale in color. In a large saucepan, come the half-and-half, milk, and remaining ½ cup sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed and lightly steaming. Temper the egg yolk mixture: slowly whisk ½ cup of the hot half-and-half mixture into the yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan with the half-and-half mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until bubbles begin to form and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat; add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the vanilla and stir until the butter is melted.
Arrange a single layer of vanilla wafers in the bottom of a 2-quart dish or trifle bowl. Top with half of the sautéed bananas. Spoon half of the pudding on top of the bananas; layer again with vanilla wafers, bananas, and the remaining pudding. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.
Peanut Butter Topping
Put the 2 tablespoons cream and the peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until creamy and thinned, about 30 seconds. Let cool completely, then transfer to a large bowl and add the remaining 2 cups cream and confectioners’ sugar. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.
To serve, line the rim of the serving dish with more vanilla wafers, dollop the topping over the pudding, and sprinkle with crushed vanilla wafers.
Recipes excerpted from “The Southerner’s Cookbook: Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories” by David DiBenedetto and the Editors of Garden & Gun (Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers). Copyright © 2015. Photographs by Peter Frank Edwards.