Recipe courtesy of Beth Setrakian, Beth’s Community Kitchen, Mill Valley
Banana Pudding is a simple, yet revered, Southern staple. It likely evolved from the English trifle, another
layering of cake or cookies, pudding and fruit. The favoring of bananas in the South was a natural, as
residents of port cities like New Orleans, Mobile and Charleston enjoyed bountiful amounts of the then-exotic
Like the great pie vs. cake debate, families have divided over whether Banana Pudding should be topped with
simple sweetened whipped cream or meringue. Baker and chef Beth Setrakian, whose mother hails from the
South, says either is just fine. She takes the dish to new heights by incorporating her own brand of organic
Bon Appétit, y’all!
Yield: 10 servings
1 1/2 cups whole milk (or 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup cream, for a richer pudding)
7 tablespoons sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or to taste)
4 to 5 cups organic vanilla wafers
3 medium-sized ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into 1/3” thick rounds
For the optional topping: 2 cups whipped cream, slightly sweetened with confectioner’s sugar, or meringue
Place the milk and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add the flour a little at
a time, continuing to whisk mixture until smooth. This may be done by hand or in a mixer on medium speed.
When this mixture is smooth, whisk in the hot milk and sugar in a slow stream. Return the mixture to the
saucepan and continue to cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to “pudding like”
consistency (note, it will thicken more as it cools). Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Allow to cool,
stirring occasionally. (Note: If you have a double boiler, use this to cook the cream to prevent scorching.) Chill
until ready to use.
Spread a thin layer of the cooled pudding over the bottom of a 2-quart dish (either a bowl or a flat-sided dish
works, and glass is lovely to show the layers). This helps hold the wafers in place. Top with a layer of vanilla
wafers, packed tight with slight overlap to cover the bottom. Next, spread a generous layer of the pudding,
about 1/3 of the recipe, over the wafers. Top with a layer of sliced bananas. Repeat these three layers two
times – I like to finish with one last layer of vanilla wafers.
Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream or meringue, as you prefer.
Chill until ready to serve.
Beth’s organic vanilla wafers, or a fully assembled Banana Pudding, are available at Beth’s Mill Valley
Community Kitchen. Beths.com.