March 31, 2010

magnolia's banana pudding (best ever banana pudding)

If you happened to see a girl walking along the streets of Manhattan, standing out because of a huge smile on her face (while many onlookers looked back amused) last week, that was me. Last week. We're just going to pretend that amid the week of 70 degree weather, the 5 day streak of rain and cold never happened. Did I mention I'm on spring break? And it's nothing at all like the movies you watch where you're on vacation in Florida (at least in the movies I watch) and it's 80 degrees and all you do is make your mouth blue by eating too much pie at the local pie eating contest.

But fortunately, Spring Break '10 (woohoo!- not so much) will end with me in Central Park this Saturday basking in the sun. So in this good cheer, I wanted to celebrate by going to Magnolia Bakery for some Banana Pudding. After seeing the size of the carton for sale, I realized that it would probably be more worth my while to just make it at home, a recipe among the many cookbooks I have that, much to my Mom's pleasure, i'll admit I never use.

So this way I can have a cup.

Or two.

And tell my teachers that the pudding stains all over my homework are really pencil shavings that somehow stuck onto the paper (and then offer to bring them some so they'll accept it anyway).

Magnolia's Famous Banana Pudding
from Allysa Torey's More From Magnolia Cookbook

One 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
One 3.4 oz package instant vanilla pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand)
3 cups heavy cream
One 12oz box Nabisco Nilla Wafters (no substitutions!)
4 cups sliced ripe bananas

In a small bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight, before continuing. It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.

To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably glass) with a 4-5-quart capacity. Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if necessary, then one-third of the bananas and one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or wafer crumbs on the top layer of the pudding. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours-or up to 8 hours, but no longer!-before serving.

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