Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafer Crumble

November 1, 2009 at 1:49 am | Posted in book review, pudding/mousse, sweet things | 13 Comments

banana pudding with vanilla wafer crumble

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a publicist about a new cookbook called DamGoodSweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth New Orleans Style by David Guas and Raquel Pelzel.  She showed me a couple of recipes…this book is chock full of classic New Orleans sweets (think beignets and pralines), with stories and gorgeous photos to boot.  I was drawn to a recipe for Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafer Crumble…odd, since I’m not usually that into bananas, but I am a “selective appreciator,” and the husband loves nursery desserts.

This is definitely a high-class version of the dessert I remember as kid– all the traditional bits are there, but they’ve been optimized.  With five yolks, it is a rich and delicious pudding, and with a nice glug of booze, I made mine decidedly not-child-friendly.  Frankly, I wouldn’t use anything but Nilla Wafers in banana pudding, and the crumble is an easy way to jazz them up and keep them crispy.  Whether you live in New Orleans or in New York, I think you’ll like this recipe!

BTW, book author David Guas will be hosting a live chat every Sunday morning (starting today!), November 1- December 20, from 9:30-10:30 am.  Chatters can log on and ask Chef Guas dessert questions or get advice.  If you’re interested, go to his website and click on the Red Velvet Cake.

Banana Pudding– makes 6 servings
from DamGoodSweet by David Guas and Raquel Pelzel (Taunton Press, 2009)

For the pudding:
5 large egg yolks
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup cornstarch
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons banana liqueur (or 1 teaspoon banana flavoring)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ripe bananas

For the crumble:
1 cup vanilla wafers (about 15 cookies)
2 teaspoons sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

To make the pudding:  Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside. Bring the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat and whisk a little at a time into the egg mixture. Once the bottom of the bowl is warm, slowly whisk in the remaining hot milk. Pour the mixture back into a clean medium saucepan (cleaning the saucepan prevents the pudding from scorching), add the banana liqueur, and whisk over medium-low heat until it thickens, about 2 minutes. Cook while constantly whisking until the pudding is glossy and quite thick, 11/2 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer the pudding to a clean bowl.

Add the vanilla and butter and gently whisk until the butter is completely melted and incorporated. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
To make the crumble:  While the pudding sets, heat the oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Place the wafers in a resealable plastic bag and seal (make sure there is no air in the bag prior to sealing). Using a rolling pin or a flat-bottomed saucepan or pot, crush the vanilla wafers until they’re coarsely ground. Transfer them to a small bowl and stir in the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Use a spoon to evenly stir in the melted butter, transfer to the prepared baking sheet, and toast in the oven until brown and fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. (The crumbs can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature or frozen for up to 2 months; re-crisp in a 325°F oven for 6 to 7 minutes if necessary.)

To serve:  Slice the bananas in half crosswise and then slice in half lengthwise so you have 4 quarters. Slice the banana quarters crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces and divide between 6 custard cups or martini glasses (sprinkle with a squeeze of lemon juice if you like—this helps prevent browning). Whisk the pudding until it is soft and smooth, about 30 seconds, and then divide it between the custard cups. Top with the vanilla wafer mixture and serve. (If not served immediately, the pudding will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, with plastic wrap intact. Sprinkle the crumbs on just before serving.)


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  1. This is a great photo. A glamourous spin on a nursery favourite!

  2. Lovely pudding! 🙂

  3. Awesome opportunity with that book! And that pudding?? Classic comfort.

  4. Funny, banana pudding (out of the box, with nilla wafers) wasn’t a huge part of my childhood, so I’m not nostalgic for it. But I think I’d like this version, nostalgia or not!

  5. Looks very creamy and delicious!

  6. I can’t say I’ve ever eaten anything like this before. Sounds delicious – I love bananas!

  7. I’ve been looking for a banana custard to add to a banana tart recipe. I think I’ve just found it here. Gorgeous picture and the recipe sounds great!

  8. Your fabulous picture and the recipe have left me drooling over the keyboard – not a pretty sight!

  9. Looks yummy!

  10. Yummmmm! Banana pudding is one of my favorites and I am always looking for new versions to try out–this one looks fantastic!

  11. I have been so curious about the DamGoodSweet book after seeing it on a few blogs. Your photo is lovely – the pudding looks so silky and inviting. Now I am reminiscing about the Cafe du Monde beignets and Aunt Sally’s pralines from New Orleans!

  12. Sounds delicious and very comforting.

  13. ohhhh my GOOOD felt getting fatter just by looking 🙂


    Be in ♥ love

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