Hey Puddin’! While this will be a 4th of July unlike any other, the pesky pandemic does not have to get all the glory. You can make your summer celebration memorable with the best Butterscotch Banana Pudding you’ve ever had. That’s BUTTERSCOTCH Banana Pudding, in case you missed, because it is all about the butterscotch. Just make sure you don’t eat it all out of the pan before assembling the pudding.Which has been, um, known to happen… And don’t let the hyperbole fool you, honey, because this dessert is pure epicurean ecstasy. Will take you somewhere new, yes it will. And Lord knows we are ready to go somewhere new. Did we mention the butterscotch?
No instant anything here. This is the real boiled-custard deal, and you will love yourself for taking the time. Your family and friends will love you too. They already do of course, and they would with or without the pudding, but why take a chance? 😉
These uncertain times are all about living in the present with love and compassion. Sometimes that means eating banana pudding and loving every bite. Enjoy. Recipe below.
P.S. If you are looking for more of chef Stephanie Valentine’s ridiculously good recipes to supply your summer celebration, check Chapter 3 in California Cooking and Southern Style, which is also available in e-book form so you can have it right now and take it with you wherever you go, which, granted, for most of us is nowhere, but still nice to have at your fingertips, right?
Butterscotch Banana Pudding
Because nothing says “Southern” like Banana Pudding, and not to brag, but this rich butterscotch pudding makes this the best one ever, period. To streamline, skip the meringue and top with whipped cream, which is sublime as is.
Note: Cream that is pasteurized as opposed to ultra- pasteurized tastes and whips better.
3 cups heavy cream
11⁄2 cups whole milk
1⁄2 vanilla bean, scraped
1 cup + 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar 11⁄2 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 cup water
3 egg yolks
5 tablespoons cornstarch
5 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3–4 bananas, in 1⁄4-inch slices
About 3 cups vanilla wafers
Meringue topping (recipe below)
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the cream, milk, and vanilla bean scrapings and pod.
In another medium saucepan combine the brown sugar, salt, and the water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and continue cooking until you have a dark caramel with glassy bubbles forming, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile whisk together the egg, yolks, and cornstarch and set aside.
To the boiling caramel, gradually stir in the cream mixture and return to a boil.
Temper the yolk mixture (and avoid cooking the eggs) by stirring in about a half-cup of the hot caramel-cream mixture, and then add the yolk mixture back into the hot caramel-cream mixture. Continue stirring with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the mixture comes to
a boil, about 2 to 3 minutes, then cook for about 30 seconds more and remove from heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla.
In a 12-inch round serving bowl, make 4 layers beginning on the bottom with pudding, then cookies, then bananas, then pudding. Place a layer of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding to avoid a skin forming. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Note: Chill a hot mixture quickly by pouring it into a metal or glass container partly submerged in an ice-water bath.
4 egg whites (1⁄2 cup) at room temperature Pinch of salt
3⁄4 cup sugar
Whip the egg whites and salt on medium high speed until frothy. While beating, add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and beat until thick and glossy.
Spoon or pipe the meringue onto the cooled pudding and either place under a preheated broiler to brown
or use a kitchen blow torch to toast the meringue just before serving.
Excerpted from California Cooking and Southern Style, by Frances Schultz, recipes by Stephanie Valentine