I think the primary reason why banana pudding always consists of Vanilla Jell-O Pudding from a box and a few sliced up bananas is because the very process of making pudding from scratch is daunting. After all, who has time to stand over a stove endlessly stirring a pot of rich and creamy vanilla custard? People who want tasty pudding, that’s who!
Truthfully, this is really not a huge undertaking. Yes, it requires about an hour of your time and a little bit more brainpower than reading the back of the Jell-O box but, trust me, this is so worth it.
What you need:
For the Custard:
6 Cups Whole Milk (really, use whole milk)
7 Egg yolks
1 Cup of Sugar
¾ Cup Flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
Seeds of one vanilla bean
The other stuff:
5 or 6 Bananas
1 box vanilla wafers (I used the mini ones. They were too cute to pass up)
2 Cups Heavy (whipping) cream
½ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla
In a large saucepan, whisk together milk and eggs. Then add sugar, flour and salt. Cook over a medium-low flame and whisk constantly. The objective here is to eliminate any lumps. Also, should you not whisk continuously, the eggs may in fact scramble. So do your best to incorporate everything extremely well. Be certain that as you are stirring your whisk actually reaching the bottom of your pot. Burnt pudding on the bottom is no fun to clean off.
After about 15 minutes or so the mixture should be getting fairly thick. If it’s still a little runny, add a few tablespoons of flour and stir. The pudding should be done around 35 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in vanilla extract and vanilla bean. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes, stirring to prevent weird film from forming on top.
Meanwhile, make your whipped cream. In the bowl of your electric mixer whip the cream. When the mixture starts to get foamy, add your powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until mixture is thick and forms stiff peaks.
Arrange the wafers in the bottom of your trifle dish and spoon about 1 third of the custard over. Add two bananas, sliced and some crumbled vanilla wafers. Continue with this until you are about an inch and a half from the top. Spoon the whipped cream on top and level with top. Sprinkle about ½ cup of crushed vanilla wafers on top.