Homemade Banana Pudding has 5 ingredients you probably have on hand right now! There’s no need for pudding mix! It is sweet, delicious, and full of banana flavor.
Banana pudding is sort of in my blood. I think it was one of my favorite desserts growing up. The banana flavor, the cookies, the slices of banana, and the whipped topping. It’s served at church functions, backyard barbecues, and basically any excuse you can think of to whip up this delicious dessert.
When was banana pudding invented?
I’m not sure. I do know that the first publication of the recipe was in the 1800’s in Massachusetts. It was based on the English trifle style recipe with layers of custard, sponge cake, and fruit. The custard was cooked, obviously, but not all the recipes called for a cooked meringue topping.
Of course, that’s my least favorite. I’m not a huge meringue fan. There’s just something about sugared whipped egg whites that just doesn’t seem delicious to me. Sort of like marshmallows.
Bananas were once an exotic ingredient. That is at least until after the Civil War. That’s when steam ships started bringing these exotic fruits from the West Indies to the east coast. And when the banana started to become an ingredient
Anyway, the vanilla wafer cookies replaced the sponge cake in the early 1920’s. A home cook in Illinois submitted her recipe that called for one pound of the cookies instead of the sponge cake. Eventually, the two would become the perfect pairing for a delicious dessert. But how it became a Southern tradition still remains to be seen.
When did banana pudding become Southern?
A syndicated column in 1933 published a recipe for “Southern Banana Pudding” but that still doesn’t explain how it became a Southern tradition. And this recipe is not your typical recipe. It calls for frying the bananas before putting them in the banana pudding. It sounds interesting, though. I might have to try it. Sort of like bananas Foster meets banana pudding?
There really is no rhyme nor reason as to how banana pudding became a south thing. It all boils down to marketing and publications. Before the 50’s, banana pudding was pretty even across all publications. After the 50’s, banana pudding appeared in more publications in the south than anywhere else.
While I understand the power of marketing, I also understand that large family gatherings are definitely a Southern tradition. Serious Eats surmises that banana pudding, along with pimento cheese and ambrosia, are easy to make en masse. They’re simple to make from few ingredients. This makes them perfect for large gatherings like church functions, family reunions, and tailgating. All very Southern traditions. Maybe that’s why banana pudding is associated with the South.
What ingredients are in homemade banana pudding?
Simple. These ingredients are simple. It’s bananas, milk, sugar, flour, and wafer cookies. I didn’t add any banana extract. And I didn’t put any yellow food coloring in there. This is straight up banana flavor in this homemade banana pudding. That’s why it looks a little off in color. I wanted this pudding to be all about the bananas and the milk.
I will admit that these bananas did get a little extra oxidized. Y’all should know by now that when bananas get a little extra ripe, I put them in the freezer. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this in posts in the past. For me, it’s the easiest way to save them for baking. If I have many then they’ll go in a bag, but usually I just toss them in their peel in the freezer.
I pulled the bananas out of the freezer to make the pudding. And then I didn’t manage to make the pudding that day. Something about schedule changes and me running out of energy because we have essentially a toddler in the house.
A brief interlude about my life. We lost our dog of 14 years. It’s still not easy to talk about. That same week, we adopted a 2-month-old shepherd mid puppy. Who has grown like a weed in the 3 months we’ve had her. But ever since she came into our lives, my life has not been my own.
It’s a lot to take care of puppy. I’ve had cats most of my life. Never puppies. That’s the main reason I run out of energy. Because I’m spending most of mine telling her to “leave it” or “get down” and then having fun at the dog park.
Why do bananas turn brown?
So, I pulled the bananas out and removed them from their skin well before cooking them. And, well, we all know what happens when you peel a banana. It’s all science-y. There’s this thing called polyphenol oxidase (or PPO) that reacts with oxygen in the air. It changes phenolic compounds (in the air) into quinones. These quinones react with other things to make melanin. Yes. Like melatonin which is pigment. And that’s how fruits turn brown. I told ya it was science-y.
So, my peeled bananas sat on the counter longer than anticipated. And then I put it in the fridge and it still set longer than I wanted. That’s why this homemade banana pudding is a little on the grey side. But don’t let that fool you!
What does homemade banana pudding taste like?
All banana! And not a fake banana flavor. The one thing I do remember from making homemade banana pudding in the past and using extract is that it takes just a little. Meaning, less is more with banana extract. The more you put in there, the faker the flavor. And fake banana flavor is just not delicious.
But this homemade banana pudding is all banana! It has a deliciously natural banana flavor in a sweet custard base. The cookies line the pan and soak up moisture form the pudding make them almost cake like. It’s a simple and simply delicious banana pudding for your backyard party!
Homemade Banana Pudding has 5 ingredients and is made with ingredients you probably have on hand right now! There’s no need for pudding mix!
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup mashed banana
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces reduced fat Vanilla Wafers
- 1 large banana
- Combine the flour and milk in a sauce pan and stir with a whisk.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat and stir in the mashed banana, vanilla, and salt.
- Line an 8 x 8 glass baking dish with a layer of cookies on the bottoms and sides of the pan.
- Pour the pudding over the cookies.
- Place plastic wrap on top of the pudding making sure it touches the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
- Slice the banana and place the slices on top of the pudding before serving.
Amount Per Serving Calories 178Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 5mgSodium 247mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 2gSugar 15gProtein 4g
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