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There are some foods that immediately transport you back in time. Mom’s meatloaf, dad’s chicken, those little cups of ice cream we used to get on Friday afternoons at school, and that classic dessert of family gatherings, picnics, and potlucks: banana pudding. The combination of silky pudding, fluffy whipped cream, bananas, and Nilla wafer cookies is always a hit, but if you’re a true banana lover, there’s a way to make the classic recipe even better. Leave it to Martha Stewart, who literally wrote the book on fruit desserts, to find a way to add double the banana flavor in her banana pudding recipe.
The glaring flaw in most banana pudding recipes? The pudding used to assemble the dish is usually plain vanilla pudding from a package. But if you’re a die-hard banana pudding fan, the pudding itself is the place where you can double down on flavor.
For starters, ditch the boxed, powdered pudding mix and try making some from scratch. It takes a little extra time, but it’s not hard (you don’t need a candy thermometer or anything), and the flavor payoff is totally worth it.
Even better? When you make your pudding from scratch, you can infuse it with more real banana flavor. Stewart’s recipe calls for adding a chopped banana to the pudding mixture, and it simmers along with the rest of the ingredients, infusing them with flavor. The pudding is strained, so there are no banana chunks left, but it still has a robust banana and vanilla flavor.
Layer the pudding in a trifle dish or glass bowl with whipped cream, Nilla wafers, and sliced bananas, then let everything chill for about 4 hours. The result? A banana pudding worthy of nostalgia, and one that might even convert banana pudding skeptics into fans of this updated classic.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below:
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