Here’s another heirloom recipe handed down from my Grandmother Claudean. Every Sunday dinner at my grandparent’s house (and Christmas dinner, too), Old Fashioned Banana Pudding was served as dessert.
The old Duncan Phyfe table would be covered in fine linen, and bowls upon bowls of fried chicken, potato salad, corn, green beans, peas, slaw, and sliced tomatoes, all fresh from the garden, would be laid out in easy reach for second helpings. And all of this was washed down with a big glass of sweet tea.
Conversation would ebb and flow with the adults taking their time eating while the cousins waited anxiously to be excused from the table so that we could go sit on the front porch swing–but not before dessert. Never before dessert.
One Sunday as we dipped into the Old Fashioned Banana Pudding with its pretty meringue topping, we realized it didn’t have any bananas in it. Nan had forgotten to put them in. Needless to say we had many laughs over this for years to come.
Old Fashioned Banana Pudding
As you can see in the picture above, I went a little hog wild with the vanilla wafers; however, you can add as many or as few as you would like.
3 cups milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 tablespoon butter
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-3 bananas sliced (your preference)
vanilla wafers (your preference on amount)
In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup milk and the flour, whisk until smooth then set aside.
Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of milk, butter, and sugar to a medium sauce pan or double boiler. Bring to a boil. Once the milk “foams” at the edges of the pan, reduce the heat to medium stirring constantly to prevent milk from sticking to the pan.
Pour the milk/flour mixture into the saucepan and continue to stir. This will help thicken the custard.
Tempering the Eggs
Now it’s time to “temper” the eggs. It sounds scary if you’re a novice cook but it’s just a fancy term that means you need to combine some of the hot mixture with the eggs to slowly bring up the temperature of the eggs. What would happen if you just dumped the eggs into the hot mixture in the saucepan without tempering first? Well, you would end up with scrambled eggs in the middle of your custard and you would need to start over from the beginning.
How to temper the eggs…
In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks lightly. Then slowly add the heated milk mixture in 1/2 cup increments to bring the temperature of the eggs up. Once the eggs have been successfully tempered pour into saucepan, stirring constantly until custard coats the spoon. This indicates the custard is done.
Remove from heat.
Add in vanilla.
Stir occasionally as the custard cools.
Mix in sliced bananas and vanilla wafers and place in 2 quart baking dish (if you’re going to add a meringue and bake) or a large pretty serving bowl.
Chill before serving (but we always ate it warm).
*Optional: You can layer the vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, and pudding, repeating the layers until all of the custard is used. My mom and grandmother both just stirred everything together instead of using the layering technique.
For variety: Try using fresh strawberries instead of bananas.
For picky eaters: Make a separate bowl with just the custard if your child doesn’t like the bananas and vanilla wafers. The custard by itself is a special treat which most kids will enjoy.
Still confused on tempering eggs? Check out this picture tutorial on tempering eggs by the Cooking Channel.
You may also like Old Fashioned Southern Tea Cakes.