From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Tonight's pudding is the result of two projects colliding. As was the case last night, I needed another recipe to finish the bananas whose odor was permeating the house. I've also been working on a book that is neither memoir nor cookbook. It's a personal reflection of the changes that have occurred in the American kitchen during my lifetime, and while there are recipes, it is not a cookbook. One of the old recipes I've been referencing is for a wartime banana pudding. The recipe is too austere to share with you here, but it did cause a spark that led to the creation of a pudding that by wartime standards is opulent. This is a really simple dessert to make, but it does require "minding" while it cooks. You don't want it to scorch or boil while it's on the stove, so I suggest a slow constant stirring as it comes to the simmer. While it is not a requirement, I like to strain the pudding through a mesh sieve to eliminate any lumps that it might contain. If by chance the pudding is too thick to sieve, stir in a a bit more milk before proceeding. If you like the flavor of bananas you will enjoy this pudding. It comes together quickly, is delicious and it's a favorite in frugal kitchens everywhere. The pudding will hold for about 24 hours before it begins to weep, so plan accordingly. Here is how it's made.
Banana Pudding...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
2 small very ripe bananas
1-1/4 to 2 cups whole milk or half and half, divided use
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1) Combine bananas and 1-1/4 cups milk in an electric blender. Puree. Add additional milk to measure 3 cups liquid. Add egg yolks and pulse to combine.
2) Whisk sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a 2-quart saucepan. Slowly add blender contents and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat until sauce thickens and coats a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Strain into 4 (6-oz.) dessert cups. Allow to come to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Serve chilled with whipped cream or whipped topping. Yield: 4 servings.
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