Nannerpuss (Or, If You Like, Banana Pudding)

This is a little glimpse into the inner workings of my squirrel-y gray matter.

I sat down to write this post this morning – a post about banana pudding (and an excellent one at that) – when I got sidetracked.  I was trying to come up with a title, and I kept getting stuck on the silly name that my mother had for banana pudding when I was little: nanner-poo (please don’t judge).  From there, I got an endless loop of this:

Do you remember Nannerpuss?  When my oldest son was around three years old, this commercial was popular.  A friend/coworker and I had a mild obsession with this obnoxious dancing and singing banana puppet – mostly because my little boy would sing that annoyingly catchy song in his adorable little three-year-old voice.

As an aside – what does a banana really have to do with pancakes, anyway?  Ponder that and get back to me.

And that jingle?  It really is hard to get out of your head.  So this morning?  When it got stuck in my head?  I decided I needed to share it with all of you so that you could share in my misery joy. Now you, too, can enjoy this little ditty every time you make this glorious banana pudding (nannerpuss) recipe.

You’re welcome.

Now, onto the recipe.  This is an adaptation of an adaptation, so forgive me for indulging in a little background first (as though I haven’t already been more than a little self-indulgent this morning – see above).  As a southern girl, I grew up on banana pudding – layers of  ‘Nila Wafers, sliced bananas, vanilla custard/pudding, all topped with a toasty meringue.  Delightful.  The one thing that always bothered me was that the pudding/custard didn’t taste banana-y enough.  And why should it?  It was vanilla pudding after all.

So, I set out to figure out a way to make my custard more banana-y.  Because, hey! why not?

I turned to my trusty pals at Tastespotting, knowing that someone, somewhere, sometime must have had a similar idea.  And lo and behold, I was right.  Boulder Locavore (who I love, by the way), posted this version a while back.  It was an adaptation of award winning Chef Alex Seidel‘s recipe, which calls for you to make a banana-infused milk before you begin to make your pudding.  You do this by steeping very ripe or roasted bananas in whole milk and then letting the mixture sit overnight to allow the flavors to infuse.  I was intrigued, so I thought I’d give it a go.  Of course, I changed things up just a bit (as I do), but mostly I followed the recipe fairly closely.  What resulted was the most flavorful, silky-smooth banana pudding I’ve ever had.  Try it – I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

Nannerpuss Banana Pudding

prep time: 24 hours

cook time: 15 minutes

yields: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 30 oz. banana milk
  • 4 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 very ripe bananas (the skin on mine was almost black they were so ripe)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 2 1/2 oz. sugar
  • 1 oz. butter
  • 9 oz. sugar
  • 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 oz. egg yolks (approx. 7 egg yolks)
  • 8 oz. whole eggs (approx 5 whole eggs, without shells)
  • 1 3/4 oz. cornstarch
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced
  • 1 box vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  1. Begin a day in advance – place your whole milk, very ripe bananas, vanilla bean (seeds and pod), 2 1/2 oz. sugar and 1 1/4 oz. butter in a heavy saucepan and bring almost to a boil.  Remove from the heat, cover, and chill overnight.
  2. Strain the banana milk through a fine mesh strainer, pressing with a rubber spatula to extract as much liquid from the bananas as possible.  Discard the mashed banana and vanilla bean pod.
  3. Combine banana milk, sugar and salt in a heavy saucepan – bring to a simmer
  4. In a blender, combine egg yolks, whole eggs and cornstarch.  Blend on high to thoroughly combine.
  5. Once the milk mixture has come almost to boil, temper the egg mixture by adding a little bit (1/2-cup or so) of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture in the blender while it is running.  Then add the egg mixture to the hot milk, stirring constantly to avoid curdling.  Be careful – it sets up fast.
  6. Stir constantly, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan as you do.  Remove from the heat if it starts to get too thick.
  7. Once the mixture is thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat and pour it through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps.
  8. Add the melted butter, stirring to combine.
  9. Set aside to cool.
  10. Whip the heavy whipping cream and 1 tablespoon of sugar to stiff peaks
  11. To assemble – have ready 12 half-pint mason jars
  12. Place two vanilla wafers in the bottom of each jar
  13. Place two to three slices of banana on top of the cookies
  14. Ladle 1/2-3/4 cup of custard into each jar
  15. Place two more vanilla wafers and three more banana slices in each jar
  16. Ladle the remaining custard into each jar
  17. Top each jar with a dollop of whipped cream.
  18. Enjoy warm, or chill if you prefer.

PS – voting in the Marx Foods’ Integrale Gauntlet is still open (until 1 PM PST tomorrow, in fact), so if you haven’t already, please go take a look at my Risotto Carbonara recipe, and then click over there and vote (for me, if you’re so inclined).  Thanks!

 

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8 Comments on “Nannerpuss (Or, If You Like, Banana Pudding)”

  1. 31 May 2012 at 11:10 am #

    I’m so excited to make this. I’m so excited that nannerpuss lives on in our hearts and heads. Thank you for reading my mind.

  2. 1 June 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    I have not had banana pudding in years–but wow, yours looks great! And silky smooth texture? Yes, please.

  3. 1 June 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    I have to know…what camera do you use? And banana pudding in a jar — I can just imagine coming home after work, plopping down on the couch with one of these straight out of the fridge! They look stunning!

    • 1 June 2012 at 2:35 pm #

      Hi Amrita:

      I use a Canon Rebel EOS Xsi with a 50mm Compact Macro lens. I shoot only in natural light, which helps a lot, and I do a little post-processing using the simple editing software that came with the camera. Thanks for asking!

      I had a couple of these puddings left over after I served them the other night, and I ate one straight out of the fridge yesterday – even better the second or third day, I must say. Let me know if you try them – I’d love to hear what you think!

  4. 5 June 2012 at 11:20 pm #

    Oh, my goodness! This pudding sounds amazing, and I totally agree with you about the pudding/custard needing to be more banana-y. The recipe you used sounds like a perfect way to fix this problem. :)

    Also, the pudding looks lovely in those little jars!

  5. Malenki
    6 June 2012 at 9:58 am #

    I know this is totally unrelated, but your photography inspires me … Camera advice? I think my sisters (BooSheep and MummyButterfly) have sold me on the Nikon D3100, but I want to be 150% sure before I buy it … :D

    • 6 June 2012 at 10:51 am #

      Thank you so much – I’m completely flattered.

      Some of this will be a repeat of what I said above to a previous commentor, but I think it bears another mention.

      I use a Canon Rebel EOS Xsi fitted with a compact macro lens. I chose Canon for the sole reason that I had used a Canon when I still shot with film and all of my lenses would fit the new digital model. I’ve heard varying opinions on Canon vs. Nikon (like one takes sharper images, or has better white balance, etc), but it’s all just that – opinion. You should play around with Boo’s and Mummybutterfly’s cameras and see what you like.

      I try to shoot exclusively in natural light, and I almost always keep my camera in manual mode. I’ve also started shooting in RAW mode, which takes up a lot more room on my memory card, but it provides you with an image that can be more easily manipulated in the editing process. It will look more flat straight out of the camera, but it will become much more robust with a little editing. All of my post processing is done using the very primitive editing software that came with my camera. Mostly I sharpen the image and play around with some of the contrast/highglights/lowlights/brightness, etc.

      I know that’s a lot of information, but I hope it helps. I did take a basic photography class almost 20 years ago, and a lot of what I learned there still applies today. If you haven’t already done so, I’d suggest taking a class to learn the basics (I know you just graduated – congratulations, by the way – but even a class through a community center or parks and rec would be helpful).

      Hope that helps!

      • Malenki
        6 June 2012 at 10:55 am #

        That helped a bunch! Thank you! :) I definitely plan on taking a photography class ASAP. Your editing/lighting suggestions were enlightening in the mean time!

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