One thing we learned from the Coronavirus pandemic was how to manage without unlimited access to groceries. Too many empty shelves at the supermarkets inspired us to go old-school in our home kitchens. One example was instant pudding.
In my adult life, I’ve depended on instant pudding for quick desserts. Add a package to 2 cups milk, turn on the blender, and voila! Perfect, smooth pudding in minutes. But what to do when the stock of packaged pudding is sold out at the stores?
I researched puddings and learned two methods to make homemade pudding: baked custard-type pudding and a stovetop cooked cornstarch-thickened pudding. Either is delicious yet I favor the stovetop method as it seemed simpler. Hasty Tasty Meals are all about easy yet wholesome.
My first experiment was a bit disappointing so I used a little help from Becky at The Hillbilly Kitchen. She has a very good YouTube Video about cornstarch pudding that inspired me to try again. So I made her banana pudding and it was delicious.
Buoyed by my success, I now make all my puddings. Why pay for mixes when adding just a few ingredients to the milk yields the same results…or better!
*I topped mine with cream I whipped myself but learned the next time to add dissolved unflavored gelatin to stabilize it. Real whipped cream breaks down in just a couple of hours.
Recipe —Homemade Banana Pudding
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1/2 box vanilla wafers
- 2 cups milk (any kind)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp butter
- whipped cream (for optional topping)
In a serving dish, layer bananas (1/4” slices) and vanilla wafers. In a separate dish, combine sugar, salt, and cornstarch. Whisk together thoroughly and set aside.
In a heavy 3 quart saucepan, heat milk until steaming but not yet boiling. Whisk in the dry ingredients, raise the temperature, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. After one minute, mixture should thicken.
Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Pour pudding over the layered bananas and vanilla wafers. Do not stir. Pudding will seep through the layers. Cornstarch-thickened pudding is prone to separating if overworked. Refrigerate the banana pudding at least an hour before serving. Serve topped with whipped cream (optional) or nondairy whipped topping. Garnish with a vanilla wafer or a banana slice, if desired.
Save money and use your own ingredients to make delicious pudding at home. Vary the flavorings to create other flavors using the basic recipe of 2 cups milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 Tbsp. cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a Tbsp. real butter. Add whatever extracts you fancy, or bloom cocoa powder in a bit of hot water for chocolate pudding. Experiment and enjoy.
God bless you, Becky Walker, for your tutorial.