It’s Thanksgiving week and Chef Jernard Wells returns to the Get Up Church to talk desserts. Chef Wells gives one of his favorite recipes, Granny Gwen’s Banana Pudding from his latest cookbook “Southern Inspired“.
Granny Gwen’s Banana Pudding (From The Cookbook “Southern Inspired“)
2 cups whole milk
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened
condensed milk 1⁄4 cup cornstarch 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 cup banana liqueur
11⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Juice of 2 medium lemons (optional)
2 (11-ounce) boxes mini vanilla
1 large whole egg, plus 3 large egg Yolks
6 ripe bananas, sliced on the bias
4 cups heavy cream, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
1⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- In a medium saucepan, whisk the whole milk and condensed milk over medium heat until it begins to simmer.
- In a large heat proof bowl, whisk the cornstarch, salt, whole egg, and egg yolks until the mixture is light yellow and smooth.
- Once the milk mixture comes up to a low simmer, gently pour about 1 cup of the hot liquid into the egg mixture while whisking quickly and carefully. (Tempering the eggs will help keep them from scrambling.) remove Off the heat, pour all of the egg mixture into the pot with the milk mixture and whisk to combine.
- Return the pot to heat. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, 5–10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir or whisk in the butter, piece by piece.
- Stir or whisk in the banana liquor and vanilla until well combined.
- Pour the pudding into a large bowl to quicken the cooling process. Put a piece of plastic wrap directly over the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 1 hour.
- Once you’re ready to finish the pudding, start the whipped cream. Whip the cream in a large chilled bowl until medium peaks form. Slowly stream in the confectioners’ sugar and juice of 1 lemon (if using) and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
- Once the pudding has chilled, gently fold half of the whipped cream into it. Reserve the other half for the topping.
- If you like, squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the banana slices in a bowl. This is optional, but it’s nice if you want an extra-special presentation—the juice prevents the banana slices from becoming very brown.
- Lay the vanilla wafers in an 8 × 12-inch ceramic or glass dish to cover the bottom. Carefully pour some of the banana pudding over the vanilla wafers and then layer on some of the bananas. Repeat each layer (cookies, pudding, and bananas) until you can’t fit in anymore!
- Top with dollops of whipped cream and sprinkle with crushed vanilla cookies. If you happen to have any pudding left over, store in a glass container with a piece of plastic wrap pressed on the surface to prevent a skin from forming.