Monday, April 13, 2015

The Best Banana Pudding

My little girl turned 1-year old last Tuesday! This past year just flew right by, and a lot of it is kind of a blur to me. Wendy is a total sweetie, and she brings such joy into our lives. We celebrated her birthday on Easter with family. Greg made North Carolina-style barbecue, and I made coleslaw, hush puppies, and this banana pudding for dessert. It was quite fun experimenting with deep frying hush puppies, and they were delicious, but my favorite part of the meal was definitely the banana pudding. Greg's father, who has had a lot of banana pudding in his lifetime, said it was the best banana pudding he has ever had. Wendy has been eating bananas since she started eating solid foods, and she went crazy over the banana pudding. I couldn't resist posting a picture of her eating the banana pudding. We had decided to do the pudding in place of cake for her celebration, but on her actual birthday, we let her have a chocolate cupcake. She loved that too and definitely has my chocolate-loving gene! If you are looking for an easy dessert to make for a big crowd, this banana pudding is perfect. Enjoy!

Recipe for The Best Banana Pudding

1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups of ice cold water
1 package of Jello Brand instant vanilla pudding mix (3.4 ounce)
3 cups of heavy cream
1 1/2 - 2 boxes of Nabisco Nilla Wafer cookies
4 cups of sliced ripe bananas, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Put the sweetened condensed milk and ice cold water into a small bowl. Use an electric hand mixer set on medium speed to mix until they are well combined, about 1 minute. Then add the instant pudding mix into the bowl and beat for about 2 minutes, or until well incorporated. Cover the bowl and put into the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Put the heavy cream into a large bowl and use the electric hand mixer set on medium speed to beat until stiff peaks form. Then gently fold in the pudding mix and blend until you no longer see any streaks of the pudding mix.

Assemble the banana pudding. In a large and wide glass bowl, arrange the wafers on the bottom and then add one-third of the banana slices on top of the wafers. Cover with 1/3 of the pudding mixture. Then repeat with the wafers, bananas, and pudding two more times, finishing with a layer of pudding on top. Garnish the top layer of pudding with wafers and banana slices. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but no more than 8 hours, before serving.

 *This recipe requires a lot of time to set, so make sure you start it well in advance to when you want to serve it. I started it at 9 AM in order to serve it for dessert by 6:00 PM.

She loved celebrating her first birthday, and she was crazy about the banana pudding!
Recipe from: Eclectic Touch, originally from Magnolia's Bakery Cookbook