Who hasn’t had (and loved) the classic layered dessert of Jell-o vanilla pudding, bananas, and Nilla Wafers? I recently discovered there is only one way to make it better: Homemade pudding, instead of Jell-o.
Now, I’m not knocking Jell-o. I have enjoyed many a banana pudding made with the stuff, this was actually my first time making it homemade and OhmyGod it was so much better.
The best part is that making your own pudding is neither time consuming or expensive. I highly recommend trying it out this way- you will never go back.
I assembled this in a 9×13 inch pan, which is how I like it, with just two layers. However, you can assemble it in a smaller baking dish or trifle dish, or even a bowl to have thicker layers. I would not, however, recommend going bigger than a 9×13 inch dish, unless you are going to double the recipe.
1 package of Nilla Wafers *do not buy off brand Vanilla Wafers, they are just not as good.
3 Ripe bananas
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cups of white sugar
1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
First, make your pudding. Scald your milk over medium heat. Scalding it means to bring it to the point just before a boil, where it is hot and steaming, and little bubbles are forming around the sides of the pan, but it is not yet boiling. Stir it frequently.
In another saucepan, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Once your milk has scalded, add it to this mixture over medium heat, stirring it constantly until it has thickened. You will know it is thick enough when your drag your spoon through the mixture and it “parts” so you can see the bottom of the pan for a moment.
Cover and cook for two additional minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.
In a heat proof bowl or measuring cup, have the egg yolks beaten and ready. Gradually temper some of the hot mixture into the eggs, stirring constantly. I use one hand to beat the eggs constantly, and use the other hand to scoop a 1/3 measuring cup of hot mixture at a time into the eggs, beating the entire time I am pouring. I add two more scoops of 1/3 cup of hot mixture to the egg mixture, stirring constantly. If you don’t do this part correctly, you will end up with chunks of scrambled eggs in your pudding. Gross.
Pour the egg mixture back into the pan of your remaining pudding mixture over the medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook for one minute longer, and then remove from heat and add butter and vanilla stirring until completely combined.
Set pudding aside to cool to luke warm.
Now, line the bottom of your pan with vanilla wafers. Top the wafers with half of your pudding, using a spoon to spread the pudding over the top of each wafer. Top the pudding with sliced bananas (use all 3 bananas, the more the better) and then cover the bananas with another layer of wafers, and another layer of pudding.
Now don’t you fret if the top layer is not completely covered in pudding. As long as you use a spoon to spread pudding over the top of each wafer, they will soak in all that delicious pudding and get nice and soft and perfect.
Refrigerate. The longer this sits, the better it is. Overnight is best. Some people like to top this with whipped cream; I don’t. I don’t think it needs it. Top with whipped cream, if you want, but please don’t defile the homemade pudding with cool whip. 😉