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Course: Sweets
Keyword: Comfort Food, Desserts, Fruit, Make-Ahead, Refrigerated Banana Pudding, Southern, Summer

Refrigerated Banana Pudding

ACTIVE TIME: 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 3 hours 10 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
When Americans say "banana pudding," we're not just talking about a bowl of creamy yellow goo, but rather a bowl of creamy yellow goo layered with sliced ripe bananas and vanilla-flavored wafers.
When it comes to bananas, ripeness matters. For this application, go with slightly under-ripe specimens free of big brown bruises, and just a kiss of green at either end.
This recipe first appeared in Season 14 of Good Eats.
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  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces and chilled
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 45 vanilla wafers (homemade or store-bought)
  • 4 fluid ounces banana liqueur
  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled

Specialized Hardware

  • Digital instant-read thermometer
ACTIVE TIME: 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 3 hours 10 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Procedure

  • Combine 3/4 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, and salt in a 3-quart saucier. Add the eggs and egg yolk and whisk to combine. Add the milk and whisk until well combined, about 30 seconds. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 172° to 180ºF, 5 to 10 minutes; the mixture will begin to thicken and bubble around the edges. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time, ensuring each piece is fully incorporated before adding the next. Whisk in the vanilla. Cover the surface of the pudding with a round piece of parchment paper and refrigerate until the pudding reaches 45ºF, about 2 hours.
  • Lay the vanilla wafers in a single layer on a half sheet pan. Slowly and evenly pour the banana liqueur over the cookies. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Toss the banana slices with the lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Spread a small amount of pudding in the bottom of a 1 1/2-quart glass mixing bowl. Cover with a layer of vanilla wafers, followed by a layer of banana slices. Spoon one-third of the remaining pudding on top of the bananas and repeat, ending with a layer of pudding.
  • Put the whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, and whisk just until stiff peaks form. Spoon the whipped cream over the cooled pudding and spread to cover completely. Top with any remaining soaked cookies. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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