Banana Pudding without the wafers
The internet is an amazing thing for lots of reasons, but especially for cooking. I have a fairly large collection of cookbooks, I used to read and reference them all the time. But these days I rarely have time, so it's nice to know that I can plug x ingredient and the word recipe into Google and come out with some ideas. Not tested, mind you, not proven, but at least a starting point for a technique or a flavor combination.
One of my favorite resources is the Chowhound Home Cooking Message Board. It's populated, seemingly 24/7, by a selection of good cooks who almost always have the answer to your questions. Slow cooker recipes? Check. How to keep galangal and lemongrass? Check. How to make banana pudding without the wafers? Check!
I'm not a big dessert maker. Savories are my bag, and I'm frankly a little afraid of dessert chemistry. So I was happy to have a place to turn for pudding advice after my chocolate pudding came out one-dimensionally sweet, without the full mouthfeel of the real thing. And after I discovered that apparently what most of the country means by banana pudding is packaged vanilla pudding with banana slices, layered with Nilla wafers. I can see the attraction if you grew up with that as comfort food, but I didn't, so I don't even want to know.
Thanks, theSauce, for your recipe for real homemade banana pudding. I made a change or two from the original, linked below, but overall this is theSauce's vision and technique. It was sweet for my taste, but R pronounced it perfect.
1.25 cups sugar
1/3 cup + 1 T cornstarch
Pinch of salt
3 cups cold whole milk
2 egg yolks
2 T room temp unsalted butter
2 t vanilla
1 t Meyers dark rum
3 ripe but firm bananas, sliced
Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large saucepan. Whisk in the milk until the mixture is completely smooth. Place the saucepan over medium heat and stir until the mixture is warm.
Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl until blended. Stir a small amount of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks and stir (to prevent the egg yolks from curdling). Cook for about 10 minutes, whisking continuously, until the custard is quite thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, rum and bananas.
Pour the custard into a bowl or into individual ramekins. Pressing a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding will prevent a "skin" from forming. Place in the fridge to cool completely before serving, at least one hour for ramekins and a few hours for a full bowl.
Enjoy with a cold glass of milk.
Recipe riff: Recipe from theSauce