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…or Glorified Banana Pudding Cups.

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Oh, hey, neglected blog. HEY. (sorry…!)

We’ve got another family birthday, which means another perfect excuse for me to bake!   (or rather, a reason to bake when I haven’t had much time to do so for fun.)  This time, it’s my mom’s birthday, but I didn’t ask her what she wanted since she’s usually pretty vocal about what she likes.   One of her favorite desserts is key lime pie, so I almost made mini key lime tarts (specifically these…omg). However, it seems like I’ve made a lot of key lime things for her in the past, so I decided that mini banana cream pies would be a good idea since she loves banana desserts, too.

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I LOVE BANANA PUDDING, so for me this was a win/win situation.  (Growing up, I would always get either those star pops or banana pudding blizzards whenever we went to Dairy Queen.)  That said, I had never tried making banana pudding from scratch.  When I started searching for recipes, I kept finding some for vanilla pudding layered with bananas and Nilla Wafers.  While I do appreciate vanilla pudding, I wanted banana pudding.  That’s when I thought to check Homesick Texan, and bingo!  With roasting a banana as the first step, I had found my recipe.

Aug 28, 2010

I went with mini pies because my mom can’t have much in the dessert department.  The only small tins I could find were those with the graham cracker crusts in them.  While those are perfectly acceptable crusts for banana cream pies, I thought I’d be clever and make some out of Nilla Wafers.  Okay, I know I’m not the first person to think of this, but it was a shining moment in my brain.

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Banana Pudding
slightly adapted from Homesick Texan

I made a batch in the afternoon and another at night because two cups just didn’t seem like enough for these tiny pies.  Really, I knew it would probably be plenty, but decided that there wouldn’t be enough leftover pudding (priorities…).  I highly recommend doubling this recipe!  It’s kind of a thin pudding for pies, so I increased the amount of cornstarch a little bit.  Throwing some Nilla Wafers in there while it’s chilling would help soak up some of the liquid.

1 banana
2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn starch
1 egg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 4OOF.  Roast unpeeled banana on a cookie sheet until blackened, about 15 minutes.  Slice the skin open and mash the fruit with a fork, then set aside.  In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, sugar, and cornstarch.  Continue whisking over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil.  Let boil for 30 seconds, then add the mashed banana.  Turn the heat down to low and whisk until the pudding is thick and the banana is fully incorporated. Crack the egg into a dish and temper it by mixing a little of the pudding with it (about 2 tablespoons).  Stir the egg into the pudding, then add the butter and vanilla.  Remove from heat.  When it’s cool enough, pour the pudding into a container and place plastic wrap directly against the surface of the pudding. Refrigerate.

After a few hours, I poured the pudding through a sieve to remove the banana pulp and it still tasted very banana-y!  Yummm.

Aug 29, 2010

Nilla Wafer Pie Crusts (for 6 mini pie tins)
(halved) from justJENN recipes

You know those little plastic coverings that are in the top two tins, at least with the kind of crusts I bought (pictured above)?  Those are great for getting the crusts perfectly pressed!

about 18 Nilla Wafers
2 tablespoons butter, melted (mine was a bit dry for pressing, so maybe add another 1/2 tbsp)
2 teaspoons sugar

Preheat oven to 350F.  Either throw the cookies in a food processor or be like me and pulverize them with a rolling pin (in a baggy, of course).  Mix together all of the ingredients and press into the pie tins.  Bake on a cookie sheet for about 6-8 minutes and let cool.

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Pudding Cup Banana Cream Pie assembly:

6 mini (4 oz.) tins with Nilla Wafer crust
banana pudding
12 banana slices, quartered (about 1/2 a banana)
crushed Nilla Wafers/leftover crumbs from the crusts
whipped cream
mini chocolate chips (optional)

I used an ice cream scoop as my pudding ladle.  Add one scoopful of pudding to the crusts, then top each with four banana quarters and a couple pinches of cookie crumbs.  Top them off with another scoopful of pudding.  At this point I actually put mine in the freezer for a couple hours since they were so soupy, which helped firm them up (they weren’t frozen solid).  To finish them off, I made some whipped cream and piped little stars all over the tops, then sprinkled on some crumbs and mini chips.  They were perfect after a big meal!

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I totally should have called these ‘Nana Cream Pies for Nana (what my baby niece calls my mom).  Of course this didn’t occur to me until after I was back home.

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