Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Southern Banana Pudding

Southern Banana Pudding
Dorcas Annette Walker

Summer has arrived with hot humid days. This is the time of year that I start making cool desserts that don’t heat up the kitchen. A favorite of our family is my recipe of Southern Banana Pudding. Originally the only banana pudding I had ever tasted as a girl was the kind that used a cooked pudding with bananas. It wasn’t until I moved south that I encountered the southern style of banana pudding. I instantly fell in love with the light cool texture of this pudding. I began asking around and experimenting until I came up with my favorite version of Southern Banana Pudding. This dessert always catches the eye and I’ve passed my recipe along many times to others. No matter what time of the year I serve my Southern Banana Pudding it always seems to hint of palm trees and ocean breezes.

Banana pudding has a long history dating back to the 1900’s, although there isn’t much information available. Bananas began to be marketed in the United States around the 19th century. Cooks were intrigued by this exotic fruit and began using them in existing recipes of cooked puddings and baked custards topped with meringue. A 1902 cookbook contains recipes for fried bananas, baked bananas, banana pudding, and banana cake in a section called Hawaiian recipes. In 1901 Nabisco began marketing vanilla wafers. No one seems to know which cook was the first to line the pudding dish with vanilla wafers but it caught on quickly, especially after Nabisco began printing the recipe on their vanilla wafer package. Banana pudding is a dessert common in the Southern United States. One interesting thing I found was that a North Carolina band called Southern Culture on Skids (I kid you not) actually performs a song during some of their concerts called Banana Pudding accompanied by throwing banana pudding on their audience. I wonder if they hand out napkins and spoons along with their tickets.

Southern Banana Pudding is a light dessert that fits with any menu and is great for family reunions. It is easy to make – only uses five ingredients- and looks elegant displayed in a glass bowl. My recipe of Southern Banana Pudding has a mild cool taste of bananas, takes about thirty minutes to prepare, and serves around fifteen. You can prepare it a day ahead of time and chill until ready to serve.

Southern Banana Pudding

4-5 ripe bananas
1 box of vanilla wafers
2 boxes of instant vanilla pudding
4 c milk
16 oz container of cool whip

Mix pudding and milk together and set aside. Layer vanilla wafers on bottom of glass serving bowl and then add a layer of pudding. Peel and slice a banana on top. Add a layer of cool whip. Repeat this three more times or until the ingredients are used up finishing with a layer of cool whip. You can garnish the top by sprinkling wafer crumbs as a finishing touch or use sliced bananas, whipped cream, and bits of chocolate for color!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a freelance writer, author, columnist, and photographer from Jamestown, TN. If you have any cooking tips or favorite recipes you are welcome to contact me by mail at: Dorcas Walker, 929 Wildwood Lane, Jamestown, TN 38556 or email me at: dorcaswalker@yahoo.com. For more information about the Walker family and Dorcas’ books check out her website at: www.dorcasannettewalker.com or htpp://dorcasannettewalker.blogspot.com for other Creative Mountain Cookin recipes.


ER Going said...

I just found your blog and enjoyed looking at it. I passed the information on to my daughter-in-law also. I have posted it to my favorites.

MollyB, Bloggerin said...

Love this pudding! It's exactly how my Nana made it.

Do you know by any chance whether there's a specific name for the glass serving dish with a pedestal (and some have lids) ?


Dorcas Annette Walker said...

Thanks for your kind words about my cooking blog!

Molly, so glad this banana pudding recipe is like your Nana's! The glass serving dish on a pedestal is what some call a truffle bowl. Hope that helps!


Priscilla said...

I'm happy you posted the origin! Some places say Thailand and I'm thinking... 'Thailand didn't come up with Nilla wafers.' XP

What I recommend doing is making your own custard though- it tastes a bit sweeter. I love boxed pudding, but the homemade custard tops it IMO.

Here's one version that my granny gave us:

3 Tb self-rising flour
2 c. Whole milk
4 egg yolks
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine milk and flour over low heat. Then, add all other ingredients and cook over low-med. heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Pour over dessert. Chill in fridge :)