Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Individual Banana Puddings with Vanilla Wafer Crust

Banana Pudding made with vanilla wafers is such a nostalgic American dessert. Individual puddings in little ramekins gives this dessert a nice presentation for company. This recipe makes about six servings (depending on how much filling you put in each one - you can make four thicker puddings if you prefer).

1 1/2 Cups Crushed Vanilla Wafers
1/4 Cup butter, melted

Combine in a bowl until the consistency is like sand. Spoon a thin layer (about 2 Tablespoons) of the crumb mixture into the bottom of each ramekin and press firmly to flatten out. Chill until set (30+ minutes)

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 Cups milk
2 egg yolks
1 banana
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

In the top of a double boiler combine the sugar, flour, salt, and milk. Stir the mixture in the bowl while the water boils beneath it, cooking for about 12-14 minutes until the mixture thickens (stir it frequently). Remove from the heat. *The time it takes to thicken will depend on a few factors, such as how cold the milk is that you start with. Instead of paying close attention to the timer, look for the correct consistency instead. The filling should be almost at pudding consistency (as thick as apple sauce) before you take it off the heat.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks. Take a small amount of the hot milk/flour mixture (about a tablespoon) and stir it into the eggs. Add another spoonful and stir it in (you are "tempering" the eggs so they don't cook and curdle). Now pour the egg mixture into the rest of the hot milk mix. Return it to the double boiler and cook until thickened some more (about 3-5 minutes) stirring constantly.Take it off the heat.

Cut the banana in half. Mash half of the banana in a small bowl. Add the mashed banana and vanilla extract to the filling mixture. Now place a layer of Saran wrap directly on top of the filling (to avoid getting a thickened skin on top). Put it in the fridge to cool. 

The other half of the banana should be sliced into six "coins."  A slice of banana can be placed into the bottom of each ramekin on top of the crust, so that when you bite into the pudding you get a bite of real banana.

When the filling has chilled, spoon a little into each ramekin (a layer about 1" thick). Top with whipped cream. Garnish them with banana slices or a Vanilla wafers on each one.

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