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Ultimate banana pudding parfait

 
Say see-ya to the days when snapping the lid off your pudding cup was the best thing about brown baggin’ it. This homemade bite from Faith Durand’s new book Bakeless Sweets is blowin’ standard cafeteria fare outta the lunchroom. Here's an extended version of the banana pudding parfait recipe we featured in GL's April/May '13 issue. Grab the issue for more recipes, and be sure to pick up the book Bakeless Sweets, out now!
 

FIRST, make the banana pudding

 

Ingredients:

Makes four cups or eight servings

2 small ripe bananas

1/3 cup sugar

2 1/2 cups whole milk

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup cream

2 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

Directions:

Flavor and warm the milk: In a 3-quart saucepan, thoroughly mash together the bananas and sugar. Pour in the milk. Warm over medium heat almost to boiling (the surface of the milk should quiver and vibrate). Turn off the heat.

 

Blend and rewarm the milk: Purée the banana-milk mixture in a food processor or blender. Pour it back into the pan and warm it for 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat, until bubbles form around the edges and the center of the milk is vibrating. Turn off the heat.
 

Make a cornstarch and egg yolk slurry: Put the cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the cream, making sure there are no lumps. Whisk in the egg yolks. It is important that this mixture be as smooth as you can make it. (To be really sure, reach into the bowl and gently rub out any lumps.)

 

Temper the slurry: Pour a ladleful of the hot milk into the bowl with the slurry. Whisk vigorously to combine. The mixture should come together smoothly, with no lumps. If you see any, add a little more liquid and whisk them out. Pour this mixture back into the pan slowly, counting to 10 as you do and whisking constantly and vigorously.

 

Thicken the pudding: Turn the heat back on to medium. Work all the angles of the pan, and scrape the bottom. It will take 2 to 5 minutes to bring the custard to a boil, with large bubbles that slowly pop up to the surface. Boil, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla.

 

Chill the pudding: Immediately pour the custard into a shallow container. Place plastic wrap or buttered wax paper directly on the surface to cover it, and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until fully chilled.

 

 

SECOND, make the vanilla pudding

 

Ingredients:

Makes 4 cups or eight servings

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2cups cream

3 large egg yolks

2 cups whole milk

6 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

 

Directions:

Make a cornstarch and egg yolk slurry: Put the cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl and whisk out any lumps. Slowly whisk in the cream, making sure there are no lumps. Whisk in the egg yolks. It is important that this mixture be as smooth as you can make it.

 

Warm the milk: Warm the milk with the sugar over medium heat in a 3-quart saucepan until bubbles form around the edge of the milk and the entire surface begins to vibrate.

 

Temper the slurry: Pour 1 cup of the hot milk into the bowl with the slurry. Whisk vigorously to combine. The mixture should come together smoothly, with no lumps. If you see any, add a little more liquid and whisk them out. Pour the combined mixture back into the pot slowly, counting to 10 as you do and whisking vigorously.

 

Thicken the pudding: Turn the heat back on to medium. As the milk comes to a simmer, stir constantly but slowly with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan evenly so that the milk doesn’t scorch or form a thick skin on the bottom of the pan. In 2 to 5 minutes, the custard will come to a boil, with large bubbles that slowly pop up to the surface. Boil, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes.

 

Flavor the pudding: Turn off the heat.  Stir in the vanilla extract now.
 
 

THIRD, assemble the parfait

 

Ingredients:

Serves 8

1/2 batch banana pudding

1/2 batch vanilla pudding

1 box Nilla Wafers (set aside 1 dozen for the top)

4 large ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick coins (set aside a handful for garnish)

2/3 cup cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

Nutmeg, to garnish

 

Directions:

Choose a large trifle bowl or any bowl that holds at least 2 quarts . Spread a spoonful each of banana and vanilla pudding on the bottom of the bowl and swirl them together. Line the bottom of the bowl with vanilla wafers. Spread half of the banana pudding over the wafers and arrange about a quarter of the banana slices on top. Place another layer of wafers on top, and cover with half of the vanilla pudding, then another layer of banana slices.

 

Repeat with two more layers of wafers and bananas, and finish with the remaining vanilla pudding. As you go, insert a few wafers pressed up against the side of the bowl. (You will have four layers of wafers and bananas, and two layers each of banana pudding and vanilla pudding.)

 

Beat the cream with the sugar, vanilla, and salt until it holds soft peaks. Spread on top and garnish with the reserved vanilla wafers, reserved bananas, and a dusting of nutmeg.

 

Chill for at least 2 hours before serving, until the cookies are slightly softened (insert a knife into a cookie layer and if it meets no resistance, it’s ready). Enjoy!

 

BY FAITH DURAND ON 3/20/2013 11:52:00 AM

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