This Southern staple is the perfect dessert for a crowd.
Photography By James Stefiuk
In the South bananas are not just a fruit you eat on the go or serve alongside pancakes. We prefer to slice them and sandwich them on bread with peanut butter or bake them with walnuts into savory bread or, best of all, layer them up with wafers and custard into the deliciousness that is banana pudding.
Universally loved, this sweet dessert can be prepared a number of ways. The easiest way to make banana pudding is with a few sliced bananas, a box of vanilla pudding, wafers and a tub of whipped cream, but I prefer to make it from scratch. My homemade custard and browned meringue add extra love to the dish.
Church picnics, funerals, family gatherings, tailgating—these key Southern social events tie people together and create strong food memories, and banana pudding is ideal for serving at them. It’s easy to make, and, particularly, to make in bulk. It is easy to serve as you can bring it in big pans or bowls, and you don’t have to keep it warm.
My father-in-law, Calvin, loves banana pudding. This year for his birthday I made my banana pudding recipe, assuming the family would all enjoy a helping. But he hid it away from the family in the downstairs refrigerator. The next morning I came into the kitchen and there he sat, finishing off the entire pan by himself. “This was for MY birthday right?” he said. Call it an early morning hankering or one fantastic recipe, either way, he has now requested my banana pudding every year for his birthday.
This creamy banana pudding dessert is one of the more scrumptious ways to show ’em some Southern hospitality — no matter where you’re from. Enjoy!