I’m sorry… I forgot how to use words for a minute there. Must be the distant memory of dipping my entire face into this mason jar of banana pudding. That and the sad, sad realization that I can’t end each and every day with a faceful of this pudding.
Or can I?
My relationship with this pudding has been serious for quite some time now. To fully understand the depth of my love, we must rewind:
This summer, BuzzFeed teamed up with Ben & Jerry’s to create a post titled “18 Foods Everyone Must Try Before Leaving NYC.” Magnolia Bakery’s banana pudding came in at #3 (because DUH). The bakery was so pumped about being featured in our post that they sent four sprawling, gargantuan tubs of banana pudding over to the BuzzFeed office for us to devour, savor, and swim in. It was incredible.
Did I mention that I love my job?
Ever since then, I have used every out-of-town guest as an excuse to make another pilgrimage to the banana pudding mecca of New York. I’ve been spotted eating Magnolia’s pudding while lounging on my couch, walking down the street, and of course, sitting on the stairs of the kitchen tools department in Bloomingdale’s. Because life is too short to have shame.
Last week, I nearly screamed when I found out that Magnolia Bakery is a kind and generous god of desserts that has blessed the world with this cookbook, containing its recipe for banana pudding. Just as God has blessed us with puppies, and Beyoncé has blessed us with her secret visual album. Thanks be to all of them.
LET US PRAY.
One of the primary benefits of making this pudding at home is the ability to experiment.
Test 1: What does this pudding taste like with caramel drizzle on top?
Test 2: What does the pudding taste like if we continue to drizzle caramel, to the point of excessive drippage down the jar?
Hypothesis: EVEN BETTER, LET’S DO IT.
These are hypotheses we simply cannot reject, people.
I think it goes without saying that you and this pudding need each other. Make it now, and next time you’re in NYC, stop into Magnolia for seconds.
- 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1½ cups cold water
- 1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 (12-ounce) box Nabisco Nilla Wafers
- 4 cups sliced ripe bananas
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 3 tsp fleur de sel
- In the bowl of a mixer, beat sweetened condensed milk and water for about a minute. Add the pudding mix and beat for about two more minutes.
- Transfer to a smaller bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- In a large bowl on medium speed, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the pudding mixture until combined.
- In a large bowl, layer wafers, bananas, and pudding. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 8 hours before serving.
- Combine the sugar and 1/3 cup water in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. This is the only time you can stir the sugar. If you stir it while it's cooking, it turns to rock candy. Place the saucepan over medium to low heat until the sugars start to dissolve, 5 to 10 minutes. Then turn the heat up to medium-high and cook until the sugar starts to caramelize, 5 to 7 minutes. Do not stir while this is happening. You've got to watch the pot, because it goes from caramel to burnt really quickly. And be careful, the mixture is extremely hot!
- Turn off the heat and stand back to avoid splattering. Slowly add the cream. Don't panic - the cream will bubble violently, and the caramel will solidify. Just give it more time to liquefy again-trust me!
- Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. It will thicken as it sits. Stir in salt. Recipe will make more caramel than needed for the pudding, but I'm sure you can find something to do with the leftovers!
- PLAN AHEAD when you're going to make this! Make the caramel and first part of the pudding recipe at the same time, wait 4 hrs, finish the pudding, and refrigerate overnight. The caramel does not need to be refrigerated - it thickens at room temperature.
- This caramel recipe will make much more than you need for the pudding... but you will not be upset about it. Trust me, you'll find use for it.