When I was a little girl one of my favorite things to eat was probably toast with peanut butter, maple syrup and bananas. And no, I did not grow up at Graceland. It was crunchy and sweet and seemed perfectly healthy at the time because it did have a banana on it. I’d eat it for breakfast, but it was also a great after school snack. Clearly, no one was monitoring my sugar intake. I wanted to find a way to recreate those flavors in a dessert.
I decided on a pudding. Homemade pudding tastes creamy and rich and nothing like the box pudding mixes of my childhood, although, how convenient and quick are those?! Pudding was something we always had. My mom had these pyrex pudding cups and more often than not you could find pudding in our fridge. Generally, it was chocolate, but every now and then butterscotch would sneak its way in. For this recipe I opted for banana pudding.
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the topping:
Peanut butter cookies, crumbled
maple syrup, reduced
Start by whisking the eggs, sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a bowl. Set aside. Over a medium heat, bring the milk and cream to a boil. Remove this from the heat and whisk a little at a time into the egg mixture. When the bottom of your bowl is warm whisk in the remaining milk/cream mixture. Pour this into a clean saucepan. In a blender combine the two bananas and a splash of the milk/cream liquid. Blend until well combined. Add the banana mixture to the saucepan and whisk over a low heat until it becomes thick- about three minutes. Continue to cook until it becomes glossy, an additional two to three minutes. During this time you need to constantly whisk the mixture. Transfer this to a clean bowl and, continuing to whisk, add the vanilla paste and butter. Press a piece of plastic wrap over the top to avoid a skin from forming and chill for three hours. When you are ready to serve this whisk it again until it is creamy.
To serve we put ours in little pudding cups and crumbled some of our fresh baked peanut butter cookies on top. We had also reduced some maple syrup to drizzle on top. The flavor combination was just like that toasty sandwich I used to adore. The banana pudding was thick and creamy. This would be a great recipe to serve in those tiny dessert cups. It is so rich that really you don’t need much. We might have gone a wee bit over board on our portion control here…but I will tell you there isn’t a drop left!