Monday, April 14, 2014

Nannie Black's Banana Pudding

Growing up there were a few things that my Nannie Black (my Dad's mom) cooked that NO one could compete with. 
Her biscuits... I still can't make them as good as her... 
Egg Pie... my mouth waters thinking about it...
Banana Pudding... I have succeeded in that recipe though! Woot!
Most of the time when you go to church dinners, pot-lucks, or such, banana pudding makes an appearance! Although it is good, it is cold. 
Not the way my Nannie used to make it.
Not the way I make it today.
(Btw, you may be asking, Why in the world does she call her Nannie Black??? When I was a little girl, I was the only grandchild on both sides of the family. I called both of my grandmother's Nannie. To distinguish the two, I called one Nannie Red, because she had red hair, and my other Nannie Black, because she had black hair. True story.)

This is our way.

1 box of Nilla Wafers
1 box of shortbread cookies
1 bunch of bananas (about 4-5)

The pudding
4-5 egg yolks (I tend to use 5 mostly)
1.5 cup sugar
4 cups milk, cream or a mix of the two
2 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
1/4 cup arrowroot powder

Reserve egg whites to make meringue for top of pudding.
Once whites are stiff spread on top and broil til just browned.

The way my Nannie said to do it is to put ALL (except vanilla) pudding ingredients in a blender. Then blend til smooth and the blender is full. She did not give me any measurements at all.
This is the closest measurements I can account for, they are pretty exact and honestly, it is not going to make a huge difference if you use 4 eggs or 5. I like the pudding rich and creamy and we have a TON of eggs right now, so why not add 5!?!?!

Like I said, Nannie just put everything for the pudding in the blender, blended it and poured it into a pot to cook til thick. I don't. That is one step I do differently. For me, it was just another dish to clean... And I surely don't need any more of those. 
I just add everything to a pot and whisk the dickens out of it. I also keep stirring til I have a nice thick pudding. It will take a little bit and you don't want your mixture to stick, so hang with it.
 It's worth it, for realz.

Layer your wafers, cookies and bananas in a big bowl until everything is used. Once your pudding is ready pour over your cookie/banana mixture. 
If you like, top with meringue and brown.

This recipe makes my memories FLOOD back. It makes me think of dinners at Nannie and Popa's house. I guess with Easter coming, it really hits home. Both of my Nannie's have gone on to be with Jesus. It makes me miss my family and my grandparents and it makes me want to make memories with my family all-the-more...
I hope you enjoy it and it becomes a family favorite for you too! 

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