This past Labor Day when I was planning the menu of smoked pulled pork and the typical sides that accompany it, I decided to make a quintessential southern dessert that adorns the tables of July 4th, Labor Day or any family reunion. I don’t usually make desserts after such a large meal because I am usually in a food coma and can’t move, but this time I wanted a classic – Banana Pudding.
There are two trains of thought in making this dessert – those that make it from scratch and those that like the ease of Jell-O pudding and Cool Whip. It leaves you in a pudding predicament. If you have the time, the made-from-scratch is the way to go…and that’s the way I went. I used Alton Brown’s recipe so I posted it below and added my commentary. The only changes I made to his recipe was that I added fresh vanilla bean (a gift from Josh Miller) and I placed the pudding in individual containers.
Alton Brown’s Banana Pudding – Link
You see in Alton’s directions that the pudding should cook a meer 5-10 minutes before bubbling and thickening. I think I was in a Star Trek wormhole because this stuff took 20-25 minutes. To pass the time, I suggest the following:
Once it’s done, when you add the vanilla extract, you will also add the vanilla bean innards. Don’t know how to open that pod? Josh told us how in his Vanilla-palooza post.
Where Alton used one dish, I used individual ones. Why? Because I will cut someone who takes a little too much and cutting into mine portion. Cut. Them. Sorry for the violence, folks. I came from a large family – it was basically the Hunger Games in my house at dinner time. Well, I digress. I used 6 individual dishes. They were not completely full of pudding in the end but I was glad. This pudding is rich.
As for my meringue, I totally beat those eggs whites to heck and back. I did well with the soft peaks but over did it after adding the sugar.
This pudding is very rich and very tasty. I think I passed out into pudding bliss before I finished mine. Going the easy route may save time, but it sure can’t replace the taste. So try going old school with Grandma and make the good stuff. ;)