This Banana Pudding Recipe is a Layered Masterpiece

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When it comes to desserts to share, banana pudding is a classic for a reason. Layered dessert makes a great sweet centerpiece, and it’s the perfect complement to spicy barbecue. Virgil’s Real Barbecue restaurants, based in New York and Las Vegas, serve a Southern-style banana pudding that’s rich, creamy and not too sweet, with layers of pastry cream, banana slices, wafers vanilla and whipped cream. Each layer is made with care and they were kind enough to share their recipe.

For chef Glenn Rolnick, director of culinary operations at Virgil’s Real Barbecue, a good banana pudding has pure flavors like ripe banana and rich brown caramel. “A lot of the banana puddings you see are too white, which means the caramel part (where the bananas and sugar are cooked together) didn’t cook long enough.” When making banana pudding, be sure to use very ripe bananas for making the banana caramel (for the most flavor) and firmer bananas for slicing and layering (for a neat look). Rolnick recommends spraying vanilla wafers with simple syrup to soften them so they aren’t too crunchy.

If you’re looking to split the recipe, Rolnick notes that the caramel and custard can be made a few days ahead, but you shouldn’t stir in the whipped cream or assemble the banana pudding more than a day before making it. to serve. “Banana pudding will firm up nicely, but sliced ​​bananas will start to brown after 24 hours,” he said. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consumed within a few days.

Virgil’s Banana Pudding Recipe

Makes 10 servings

For the banana caramel:

2 pounds bananas, peeled

6 1/4 oz white sugar

1 oz light corn syrup

1 tablespoon banana liqueur

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

6 1/2 oz heavy cream

Puree the bananas and 3 1/4 cups white sugar in a food processor.

Place bananas, corn syrup, remaining sugar, banana liqueur and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves.

Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and transfer to a storage container. Refrigerate the mixture uncovered.

For the pastry cream:

9 ounces of milk

2 1/4 oz white sugar

1 oz all-purpose flour

2 egg yolks

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Place all ingredients in a double boiler over medium heat. Whisk the mixture continuously, until it has completely thickened.

Transfer to a storage container and place in the refrigerator.

For the banana pudding:

10 ounces heavy cream

3 oz banana caramel (see above)

8 oz pastry cream (see above)

2 ounces of white sugar

1/2 oz banana liqueur

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 oz vanilla wafers

12 oz bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

Crumbled vanilla wafers, for garnish

Take the banana caramel out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.

Whip the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks. To test, hold the whisk up to see if the cream forms a solid hook. If not, keep whisking.

In another bowl, combine the banana caramel, pastry cream, sugar, banana liqueur and vanilla extract. Incorporate the heavy cream into this mixture using a rubber spatula.

In a serving bowl, add 1/3 of the pudding mixture and layer half of the vanilla wafers. Add another 1/3 of the pudding mixture and layer the banana slices on top. Spread the remaining vanilla wafers over the bananas. Finally, add the rest of the pudding mixture.

Refrigerate banana pudding for a few hours before serving. When ready to serve, top with additional whipped cream and a few crumbled vanilla wafers.

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