Friday, June 10, 2011

Southern Banana Pudding~or is it?

I ask the question "Or is it?", because this next recipe, well, I guess it isn't truly Southern. It is and it isn't.   The Nanner Pudding part - totally Southern. 
The whipped cream part - not so much.

Traditional Southern Banana Pudding has a meringue topping. 
Now, don't get me wrong. I love some meringue topping. 
It's just that my family loves the whipped cream topping just a bit more.
And that's what's great about cooking and being a grown up.
You can make food however you like it and no one can tell you otherwise!
Most of the older recipes will almost always have meringue toppings. 
That's because when the cook (that would be your Momma or Grandmomma) would have
 egg whites leftover from making the pudding part, she wouldn't want to waste the egg whites. So, she'd take those egg whites and whip up a meringue for the topping.

It makes complete sense and it makes good use of all the egg.

So having said all that, I still prefer whipped cream.

With this recipe, you'll only be wasting one egg white. 
If that will help you sleep better at night.

Oh, and the custardy-pudding is totally worth the little bit of effort it takes to make.
 Such a great flavor.

2 cups milk (no skim milk, please)
⅔ cups white granulated sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1 egg
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp. salted butter
2 tsp. Banana Extract (or 1 tsp. vanilla extract)
4-5 bananas, peeled and sliced
Half a box of Vanilla Wafers (About 50)

For the whipped topping:
1 cup Heavy Cream
3 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
¼ teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Prepare a 9x9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium sauce pan, whisk together the milk, sugar, cornstarch, egg, and egg yolk.
 Once well-combined, place the pan over medium-high heat. 
Making this custard takes a bit of patience. 
You are stirring and stirring and then all of a sudden, blamm-o, it starts getting thick on ya.
 So that's why you gotta stick with it while you're making it.
Whisk often to prevent lumps from forming.
Cook until thick and bubbling.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter, banana extract (or vanilla extract) and whisk until butter is completely melted.
In the baking dish, place a layer of bananas, then top that with a layer of vanilla wafers.
 Pour 1/2 of the custard over the wafers and spread to the edges. 
Repeat this process once more.  
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least four hours.
Whip the heavy cream with the vanilla and the powdered sugar until it reaches soft peaks.
 Spread the whipped cream over the chilled pudding. 
Top with crushed vanilla wafer cookies.

Keep refrigerated.
I took this picture before adding the crushed wafers on top. Oops. 
Adding the crushed wafers just gives it a prettier appearance.

Or you can serve the banana pudding and then add a dollop of whipped cream on each individual serving. Whatever cranks your tractor!

And then if you wanna get fancy, add a slice of banana and a Nilla wafer on top.



  1. We prefer the whipped topping too. I save my egg whites for omelets the next morning. I haven't made 'nana puddin' in a long time. I need to make this soon. Yummy!

  2. My dad makes a shortcut version of this with banana pudding and cool whip. Its THE ONLY dessert I have ever seen my Dad make.

    I am going to have to make yours for him sometime and see if it wins him over.

  3. Pretend Chef - perfect idea to use up that egg white.
    Annie, let me know what he thinks!!

  4. Love your version of the banana pudding, and using real whipped cream!
    It's a keeper:DDD
    Stopped by your blog via foodbuzz, and buzzed you!

  5. I made Banana Pudding using Moon Pie cut into pieces instead of Vanilla Wafers, it was wonderful.

  6. This southern girl prefers my banana pudding just like this recipe. I do not like it the "other" way. Great pictures.

  7. Looks amazing! I love that it's totally from scratch. I'm going to be trying this one.

  8. Look amazing, I love bananas desserts! gloria

  9. oh boy! this could be dangerous!!! fabulous recipe! I agree to use whipped cream instead...and lots of it!

  10. It wasn't until about 2 years ago that I even heard of Banana Pudding. One of my best friends is from Georgia, and she introduced me to it. Yours looks wonderful!

  11. Oh my how I wish I could dig into this right now! Yum!

  12. Wonder if I could get away with eating this a a main meal?
    :-) Mandy

  13. Southern or not it looks fantastic, I would love to have a big bowl of it for myself.

  14. Mmm, banana pudding is so delicious. That looks like one yummy bite.

  15. I like this recipe...I dont like I LOVE IT! I never knew that traditional southern banana pudding has a meringue topping...thanks for the info!
    Awesome photos!!!

  16. We recently went to a cookout and my husband got all excited because someone said they were bringing "homemade banana pudding." By homemade, she meant she assembled the boxed pudding and cool whip monstrosity at home. He will LOVE this!

  17. looks great, love banana pudding but I am partial to the meringue lol

  18. Good ole Nanner Puddin! I'd love for you to share the recipe on my summer dessert linky at Cajun Sugar Pie!

  19. I love banana pudding with whipped cream. I'm from Georgia so I'll declare that it is southern! I'd like to invite you to share your recipe on A Well-Seasoned Life's Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  20. This looks divine! Where do you buy your extract? I am visiting from tidy mom!

  21. Hi Lisa! Thanks for visiting! I buy my extract from Wal-Mart or Kroger. You can find banana extract where all the other extracts are located (usually down the baking aisle near the spices).

  22. we like to make ours with those pecan sandy cookies by keebler too! So yummy! Then add pecans to the whipped topping :)

  23. My mom used to make "from scratch" banana pudding all the time but I never liked the meringue. I agree that the whipped cream is much better! Have never tried the banana extract. Will have to find that.

  24. The directions mention adding salt to the custard, but doesn't list it as an ingredient. How much should be used?

  25. Tanya - I got that fixed. Thank you for mentioning it!

  26. I made this last Saturday night. Oh my dear heavens!!! This was delicious and every single bit as good as I remember from my childhood. I am tossing all of my other recipes.

  27. This is my favorites version. Thanks for the recipe! I come here everytime I make nanner puddin lol. I love the flavor and the.fact it isn't loaded with all the cream cheese that others call for. Simple yet delicious!

  28. Brandie, hi! Meant to comment on this when it was posted, but forgot, When I was growing up, we didn't put anything at all on our banana pudding...after I was grown, we did start using whipped topping. Can't imagine it with meringue, so this recipe is all good for me!

  29. I've always used my grandmother's recipe and would never even look at a different recipe. Until one day, while I was stirring and stirring and well you get it, I started reading the side of the Nilla wafer box. Lo and behold, grandma's exact recipe! I was crushed but still never veered from using it.
    Til today-
    On my way to make it right now!

    (Oh,yeah-I'm team meringue all the way, lol)

  30. We love it and since we only keep skim milk this time I made it with skim milk! Lo and behold YUM YUM YUM! Love it!

  31. Hi Brandie. Just ran across your blog today when someone shared your 25 crockpot recipes on fb. My mom used to make homemade banana pudding from scratch all the time. She would make a roasting pan (the oval one) full when she made it and it usually only lasted a few days. She never put anything on top and that's the way I prefer it. Also, I don't think she ever used anything except whole eggs in hers. I do remember one year I ate so much of it that I made myself sick. After that I didn't eat any for awhile. Now you have me wanting some of her Nanner Puddin, but sadly she passed away last year so I will never get to have her Nanner Puddin anymore. BTW, we live in Arkansas so we are definitely Southern here.


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