So I have an unnatural love for bananas. I’m not really quite sure where this came from. It’s possibly a combination of my father’s love of banana pudding, or my mother’s uncanny ability to make incredible banana bread. Either way, I eat bananas in everything, banana protein smoothies, bananas and peanut butter, bananas frozen as popsicles, and banana flavored laffy taffies.
I also love pudding. Be it’s gelatinous form or its smooth transition from my mouth to my stomach (chewing is just hard work at the end of a long day), it makes my day go from a 6 to a 10 in less than 5 seconds.
This is also *attention gluten free cousins and friends* GLUTEN FREE! I just replaced the regular grahams that the recipe calls for with gluten free sandwich cookies, which turned out to be a great call. Vanilla oreo-like cookies go great with pudding.
- 1 cup 2 percent milk
- 1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large bananas
- Gluten free vanilla sandwich cookies, or regular grahams if you roll like us normals most of the time.
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (sweetened or unsweetened)
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Heat the regular milk and almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat until almost simmering. At this point little bubbles will begin to come up to the surface. If you know anything about chemistry, the tiny little molecules are heating up, exciting the electrons, which are trying to escape to the next energy level (a gaseous state), thus the bubbles. At least I think that’s what I remember. I apologize to my high school chemistry teacher if that’s wrong. Anyway, at this point, remove the pan from the heat source.
Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, salt, sugar and egg in a medium heatproof bowl. This bowl wasn’t exactly heatproof seeing as it was metallic in nature, but I just dealt with the pain. It’s something you have to be willing to do when making pudding.
Pour half of your delightfully bubbling saucepan mixture into the dry ingredients. Then, pour it all back into the saucepan and stir like an evil spirit was chasing your whisk. Do this until it starts bubbling again, which takes about a minute or two. Your fast moving whisk will get tired pretty quickly.
At this point, add the teaspoon of vanilla.
Pour your goodies into a bowl all together with the other half of the dry ingredients.
Now comes the fun part, the exterior design. Just go totally insane. I sliced up by bananas and layered cookies and toasted almonds like there was no tomorrow. If this pudding were my house, it would’ve been compared to the Taj Mahal.
I also made another batch right after we finished this one. Mainly because we ate it all in about 5 minutes (it wasn’t JUST me and the beast ok, I did share this magic with others. I mean, I eat a lot, but I’m not a complete glutton).
And therein lies the beauty of the banana pudding. Simple, exquisite; a true all American treat. Proceed with caution and delight.