One of my items this year for my thanksgiving potluck was banana pudding. A thanksgiving favorite of a lot of people. I made the banana pudding from scratch – its really simple and I used fresh vanilla beans. I got a whole bunch when I was in India and they were so cheap. And I will let you in on a little secret – buy them online. You will find a lot of places that sell a whole load of beans for a fraction of the cost.
Using a vanilla bean is really simple, you slit it down the middle and then scrape out all the seeds and add. How easy is that. Then you use the leftover pods in your sugar jar for vanilla flavored sugar. Even if you just use that sugar in tea or coffee its still quite delicious!
A variation on using vanila wafers is to use pound cake. This recipe is sized for a trifle bowl.
- 2 vanilla beans
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1.5 cup heavy cream
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup rum
- 4 ripe bananas
- 1/4 stick of butter
Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and use the back of your knife or a spoon to scrape the seeds out of the pod (save the pod to make vanilla sugar). Put the vanilla seeds, egg yolks, milk, 1 cup cream and 1/2 cup of sugar to your kitchen aid bowl. Whisk until incorporated. Add sifted corn starch and whisk again (You can use your hand held egg beaters for this but why not use the kitchenaid when you have it!).
Pour the mixture into a saucepan. Heat the mixture between a low to a barely medium heat and stir the mixture continuously. Make sure that the mixture does not begin to boil. You want the mixture to come up to a gradual heat and it will thicken slowly. You will notice that your custard starts thickening after a while. Keep a close watch on it from this point on as you stir. Mine took about 18 mins to get done to the consistency I wanted it. Remember as you take it off the flame it will continue to thicken in the pan because of the heat. If you want it to stop plunge it into a basin of cold water and continue to stir because you want it all to cool evenly. Set it aside to cool completely.
Peel and slice the bananas. Put the butter into a frying pan and heat it gently. Once it melts add the 1/2 cup of sugar and stir. Then add the bananas ans stir letting them gently warm up. Once they are warm after about 2-3 mins. Turn off the gas. Pour the rum over the bananas and light it. Use a long handled lighter for this. The flame will go out quickly. Let this cool as well.
Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold this into the cooled custard.
Put a layer of vanilla wafers on the bottom of the trifle bowl. Then spoon a layer of custard. Spoon bananas – repeat. Cover – use cling film and let the film touch the top of the pudding. Refrigerate overnight preferably.