|Homemade Southern Banana Pudding (all from scratch)|
|Here's the Toasted Marshmallow Meringue Topping|
|Look at those beautifully browned tips|
|An individual serving of Southern Banana Pudding in a mason jar|
|Layers of Shortbread Cookies, Banana Slices, Creamy Roasted-Vanilla Bean Pudding, & Whipped Cream|
|Oh man, this is so good.|
|Here's all of it in a big ole' bowl...|
|It's so good, that even dogs like it!|
For the Homemade Shortbread Cookies:
3 Sticks of Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
3 ½C AP Flour
For the Creamy Roasted Banana-Vanilla Bean Pudding:
3-4 Large Roasted Bananas, Mashed & Cooled
2 2/3C Whole Milk, Divided
¼t Salt (heaping)
1 Vanilla Bean, Scraped for Seeds
1 Large Egg
8oz Package of Cream Cheese, Softened
14oz Can of Sweetened, Condensed Milk
For the Whipped Cream:
2C Heavy Cream, Chilled
2T Confectioners’ Sugar
Pinch of Salt
For the Toasted Marshmallow Meringue Topping:
3 Egg Whites
¼t Cream of Tartar
Pinch of Salt
7oz Marshmallow Crème
For the Southern Layered Banana Pudding:
Homemade Shortbread Cookies, Crumbled
Prepared Creamy Roasted Banana-Vanilla Bean Pudding, Chilled
3 Fresh Large Bananas, Cut into Slices
Homemade Whipped Cream, Chilled
Prepared Marshmallow Meringue Topping, Toasted with a Kitchen Torch
1. For the Homemade Shortbread Cookies: Preheat the oven to 350. Then in an electric mixer, beat together the softened butter, sugar, and vanilla, then sift together the flour and salt and mix this into the butter. Beat until it just comes together, then pat the dough into a disc and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. After the dough has chilled, roll it out and using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into square cookies (or use a pizza cutter to cut into squares). Place the cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let the cookies completely cool before layering them into the banana pudding. Once the cookies have cooled, crumble them into bite size pieces and set aside.
2. Roasting the Bananas: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the bananas on a sheet tray that is covered with parchment paper. Bake the bananas for 20 minutes, and then flip over the bananas, and roast for another 20 minutes or until the skins are dark brown and the inside is soft. Let the roasted bananas cool, and then carefully peel them and place them into a bowl. Mash with a fork until somewhat smooth, but still some chunks remain. Put the mashed bananas into a fine mesh strainer and strain out any juice. This took about 30 minutes for me. After they have strained, put them into a mixing bowl, and then puree the mixture until as smooth as possible. Then measure out the banana puree to about one cup (that’s all that I used, and that was from exactly 4 bananas). Also, make sure the mashed, roasted bananas are completely cool before layering them into the pudding.
3. For the Creamy Roasted Banana-Vanilla Bean Pudding: Bring 2C of the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. While it is heating, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and vanilla bean (toss the leftover vanilla bean pods in the pot with the simmering milk for an extra vanilla boost) in the bottom of a medium, heatproof bowl. Gradually whisk in the remaining 2/3C whole milk, a little at a time so lumps do not form, and then whisk in the egg. Once milk is boiling, very gradually add it to the cornstarch mixture in the bowl, whisking the whole time. Return the mixture back to the saucepan, stirring constantly with a silicon spatula or wooden spoon. Once it comes to a simmer, cook it for one minute longer (which will cook the cornstarch and egg fully). Pour the pudding into a large mixing bowl and chill in refrigerator until fully set, about 2-4 hours. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the top of the pudding before you chill it to prevent pudding skin. Once the pudding and the roasted bananas have chilled, remove the pudding from the refrigerator. In a small mixing bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese and sweetened, condensed milk until smooth. Add this mixture into the chilled vanilla bean pudding, mixing until incorporated. Next, fold in the 1C of pureed, roasted bananas until they are mixed throughout (make sure they are room temperature or chilled). Return the finished pudding to the refrigerator to chill and set for another hour while you gather and make the remaining components.
4. For the Homemade Whipped Cream: In a large bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in the vanilla and sugar until stiff peaks form. Make sure to beat the cream slightly thicker than usual. Make sure the whipped cream is chilled until ready to use.
5. Assembling the Layered Southern Banana Pudding: Layer a third of the homemade shortbread cookies into the bottom of a large serving bowl or trifle dish. Spread the slices of 1 fresh banana in an even layer on top of the shortbread cookie layer. Top the bananas with a third of the chilled creamy roasted banana-vanilla bean pudding. Spoon a half of the homemade whipped cream (a half of the half batch, so technically a fourth of the total batch) on top of the pudding layer. Repeat the layering procedure twice. Cover the pudding and refrigerate for 2-3 hours to set. The process should go cookies, banana slices, pudding, and whipped cream. You should have 3 cookie layers, 3 banana layers, 3 pudding layers, 2 whipped cream layers, and 1 marshmallow meringue topping. Do not do the marshmallow meringue topping until you are ready to serve.
6. For the Marshmallow Meringue Topping: After the pudding has chilled for a few hours, beat together the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a standing mixer, at a high speed. Beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add marshmallow crème in small portions, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Spread or pipe the meringue over the top of the pudding in an even layer, making sure to seal edges completely (you can be as creative or rustic as you like with this layer, depending on your style). Broil the top of the marshmallow meringue with a kitchen torch until it reaches a golden brown & toasted marshmallow look (do not let it burn).
7. Scoop into bowls and serve the pudding chilled. Enjoy immediately!