Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Evolution of Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding
Mom’s banana pudding recipe is one she learned from her grandmother. I’m starting to think that Granny Koonce didn’t really have a recipe, because my aunt’s copy was slightly different than mom’s. Either way, it will turn out, and you will layer this delicious, smooth and velvety pudding with bananas and vanilla wafers.  It’s gone through some updates through the years. But we do not add whipped topping, and you will not use pudding from a box or you will get chased out of town….

Aunt Tutu’s recipe:

Granny Koonce's Banana Pudding

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbs. flour
1 1/2 cup milk
Mix flour and sugar together and set aside.
Whisk eggs in a saucepan, add milk and slowly add sugar - flour mixture. Continue to stir over low heat with the wire whisk.
After it thickens, add 2-Tbs. margarine and 1 tsp. vanilla.
Layer with sliced bananas and vanilla wafers.
Serve warm or chilled.
Double or triple recipe as needed. (Trust me, it will be needed.)

Mommy’s Recipe:

Granny Koonce's Banana Pudding

Mix 1 egg and ½ c. sugar in a sauce pan. Sift together ¼ c. sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, ¼ tsp. salt. Add to egg mixture. Stir in 2 cups milk. Cook over low heat until boiling or desired thickness. Stir constantly. Remove from heat add 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tsp. vanilla.

Why the change between butter and margarine, one egg or two? Why is there is a difference in the amount of milk or flour? My guess, that’s what was in the house the day each girl was taught to make it. I really don’t know.
Basically, you are going to need: eggs, butter, flour, sugar, milk and vanilla. I don’t recommend using margarine, ever! Use the best vanilla you can get. Add another egg if you want a richer pudding. Use whole milk, or replace part of your milk with half and half or cream for a richer texture. Mom has been known to use canned milk, and it turns out just fine.
OK, I know it says stir constantly, but dont freak out yet! Like I said over the years, it’s gone through some updates.  Mom now makes hers in the microwave and it turns out great. I usually use the same procedure as making pastry cream. I get to use the stove and it doesn’t take as much time stirring.
Microwave Pudding Procedure:

In a microwave safe bowl combine:
2 eggs
¾ c. sugar
2 tbsp. flour
¼ tsp. salt
2 c. milk

Place in microwave and zap for 2 min. Stir. Microwave in one minute intervals stirring each time until it reaches desired consistency. Remove from microwave. Stir in 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tsp. vanilla.

Pastry Chef procedure:

In a heavy sauce pan, heat 1 ½ cups milk and ½ cup half and half to boiling. If you have a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds out and place seeds and bean in the pan with the milk.

Place a mixing bowl on a towel and just before your milk is boiling, whisk together 2 eggs, 2 tbsp. flour, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¾ c. sugar.

When milk is boiling. Temper eggs (while stirring quickly, add hot milk to egg mixture). Return mixture to sauce pan over high heat and stir until it thickens. Remove from heat, pass mixture through a strainer (in case you have any cooked egg bits).  Add a tablespoon of unsalted butter. Add vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste if you did not use a vanilla bean.

Ok now that you have your pudding. Put down a layer of vanilla wafers and sliced banana. Top with pudding, repeat layering until you have no more pudding. Top all this with another layer of vanilla wafers. Sure, you can dig in now, but it will be much better later when it’s cold and the cookies have softened. Store in the refrigerator. J

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