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Two banana pudding recipes: A cold or cooked summer southern tradition

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Have you ever been to a southern picnic or cookout? How about one of those meals after a church service, civic meeting, or funeral? If you have attended any of the above, you know without even looking that there is a banana pudding front and center on the dessert table.

Here in the south, we take our desserts seriously. A typical dessert table at a summer gathering will include a coconut cake, a chocolate cake, a batch of chocolate chip cookies, and the big bowl (or container) of banana pudding.

There is a competitiveness with banana pudding recipes; and that is if it is a cooked version or cold version. Both banana puddings are fabulous; however just about everyone has a preference between the cold and hot version. Here are two recipes for banana pudding. Make both and see where your preferences lie.

Cold banana pudding recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 4 bananas, sliced
  • 1/2 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers

Prepare:

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in condensed milk, pudding mix, cold milk and vanilla until smooth. Fold in 1/2 of the whipped topping.
  2. Line the bottom of a 9x13 inch dish with vanilla wafers. Arrange sliced bananas evenly over wafers. Spread with pudding mixture. Top with remaining whipped topping. Chill.

Cooked banana pudding recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 3 bananas, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup white sugar

Prepare:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate with a layer of alternating vanilla wafer crumbs and banana slices.
  3. To Make Pudding: In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with flour. Mix well, then stir in half the milk. Beat egg yolks and whisk into sugar mixture. Add remaining milk and butter or margarine.
  4. Place mixture over low heat and cook until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Pour half of pudding over vanilla wafer and banana layer while still hot.
  5. Make another layer of alternating vanilla wafers and banana slices on top of pudding layer. Pour remaining pudding over second wafer and banana layer.
  6. To Make Meringue: In a large glass or metal bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, continuing to beat until whites are stiff. Spread meringue into pie pan, making sure to completely cover pudding layer.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, just until meringue is browned. Chill before serving (although it is fabulous still warm)

In the south, we truly do love this dessert. It can give you a smile on a bad day and make a good day just a little bit better. To show how much we love banana pudding: this was the request of the Raleigh Food Examiner for breakfast on her wedding day! While we have our banana pudding recipes, other areas of the country have their own sacred comfort foods as well.

What is your go to comfort food? Is there a particular dessert that has deep roots in your corner of the world? Tell us about it!

Enjoy!

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