As I sit in bed, writing this post, I am trying my hardest not to think about the four remaining banana puddings just sitting in my refrigerator with their creamy vanilla custard punched up with nutty browned butter, studded with ripe bananas, cakey vanilla wafers, and topped with a cloud of softly whipped cream. This is a barely adapted take on the classic banana pudding that, I think, pushes the boundaries just for enough for these puddings to be updated but still very much themselves. We still have all the important factors, we’re just adding brown butter, and really that can only be a good thing.
Clearly, not thinking about them is not really working all that well since I’m staring at photos of them while writing about them. Honestly, the only thing keeping me from digging a spoon into one of these (right meow!) is the fact that they are past Casper’s room (where there’s a creaky floorboard) and down the stairs. I’m not foolish enough to risk waking a slumbering baby for pretty much anything. But, tomorrow is a new day and you better believe I’ll be dreaming of these until then.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 egg yolks
- 2¼ cups whole milk
- 1¼ cups heavy cream, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 ripe bananas
- 48 mini vanilla wafers (or about 24 regular wafers)
- Melt the brown butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the butter starts to foam, stir it with a heatproof spatula until the solids turn deep brown and smell fragrant and nutty like toffee. Turn off the heat and pour the butter into a heatproof dish to cool.
- In the same saucepan whisk the sugar, kosher salt, and cornstarch. Whisk in the egg yolks until they are completely broken up--add a splash of milk if it's too thick to whisk. Whisk in the milk and ¼ cup of the cream to combine. Heat the mixture over medium heat, constantly stirring, until the pudding thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (so that when you run a finger over it a clear track is left on the spoon). The pudding will take about 15-20 minutes to thicken. Pour the pudding into a blender (or better yet, use an immersion blender in the saucepan) and blend in the browned butter and vanilla on low speed, just to combine.
- Peel the bananas and slice into rounds. Place about 4 mini vanilla wafers into the bottoms of 6 glasses, top the vanilla wafers with about ¼ worth of banana slices per glass, and spoon ¼ cup of the still warm pudding over the top of the bananas and wafers. Repeat by layering 4 mores vanilla wafers over the pudding layer, followed by another ¼ sliced bananas, and ¼ cup pudding. Cover the pudding wit plastic wrap (making sure it directly touches the surface) and chill the puddings for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, so the vanilla wafers soften and the pudding is thoroughly chilled. Before serving, whip the cream to soft peaks and top each pudding with a generous dollop of cream. Top with additional banana slices and crushed vanilla wafers if you want to get fancy.
Adapted from this Whiskey Brown Butter Butterscotch Pudding with Ganache and Sea Salt