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Tue, Jan. 11th, 2011, 10:00 pm
savorynotes: Banana pudding!

I’ve probably had, maybe 20 bananas my whole life. Whenever we get fruit smoothies, I always get mine without banana and I’ll never understand the appeal of strawberry-banana flavored candy. Blech. But something strange happens every once in awhile..

3 cups half ‘n half
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 large egg yolks
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Nilla Wafers
1 banana (you can use 2 or 3, depending on how much banana you like)

-Mix the half ‘n half, salt, and 1/2 of the sugar in a pot and slowly heat up until it just starts to simmer (small bubbles)

-In a bowl, add the egg yolks, the rest of the sugar, and add the cornstarch and whisk until combined.

-Once the half ‘n half comes to a simmer, take a ladle of the hot milk, and while whisking the eggs, slowly pour the hot milk into the bowl of egg yolks. This is called tempering. You’re slowly raising the temperature of the eggs so that they don’t scramble when they hit the hot milk.

-After you’ve added and whisked about three(3) ladles worth of the hot milk, go ahead and dump the bowl of eggs into the pot and whisk together.

-The cornstarch will now start doing it’s job, by thickening the mixture. So keep the heat on medium/low, and stand there and whisk until you see it start to bubble like thick porridge. This should only take about 2-3 minutes.

-Once thickened, take off the heat, and at this point, you could pass the pudding through a strainer just to make sure you don’t get any solids in it. Add the butter and vanilla, and stir in your bananas. It may seem a little thin right now, but as it cools in the fridge, it will set.

-You can make these into cutesy parfaits, but I don’t own any of those glasses, so I opted for a simple dish, and garnished with the vanilla cookies. There’s no specific method for this… just add ‘em however you want! I add the cookies right away because I like how soft and cakey they become. If you want your cookies to stay crunchy, wait until the pudding is completely cooled before adding them.