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Some recipes are practically sacred. Take banana pudding, for instance. I have friends who swear their banana pudding is the best and their procedure is the only way to make it.
When I ask them, “Is it hot or cold?” it always amazes me how they respond in a horrified voice, “Hot, of course!” and others say, “Cold, of course!”
The serving temperature is just the beginning of how recipes can be so dramatically different for what is basically the same item — bananas and pudding.
Today’s recipe for Snappy Banana Pudding is not meant to compete with your favorite old-fashioned banana pudding — whatever that looks like for you. Instead, it’s a fresh idea of wonderful flavors that is perfect for a hot summer day.
Snappy Banana Pudding
Start to finish: 20 minutes, plus refrigeration time
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
2 cups 1 percent (or higher) milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
2 large whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1¼ cups gingersnap cookie crumbles (see Cook’s Note)
5 large ripe bananas, sliced
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine milk, cornstarch, sugar, egg yolks, and eggs. Whisk well to blend. Place mixture over medium heat and, stirring constantly, heat until mixture thickens enough to thickly coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
In a 2-quart or larger dish, layer ½ cup pudding, 1 sliced banana, ¼ cup crumbs. Top with 1 cup pudding, 2 sliced bananas, and ½ cup crumbs. Then finish with 1 cup pudding, 2 sliced bananas, and ½ cup crumbs.
Cover and refrigerate until chilled through before serving.
Approximate values per 1/12 serving: 361 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated), 103 mg cholesterol, 5 g protein, 63 g carbohydrates, 3 g dietary fiber, 243 mg sodium.
Cook’s Note: I prefer to crumble my gingersnap cookies in a food processor, but you may crumble them however you choose. This recipe is based on a medium crumb. If you desire a larger crumb, you will need more than 1¼ cups of crumbs for full coverage. It takes about 15 to 20 cookies for 1 cup of crumbs as intended in this recipe. Any brand of gingersnap is fine. I prefer plain, un-iced, and unglazed.
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