Friday, May 3, 2019

Southern-Style Baked Banana Pudding – A Better Banana Cream Pie

If you like banana cream pie, you’ll absolutely love baked banana pudding. Not only is there no piecrust to mess with, but I think the vanilla wafer cookies pair even more perfectly with the fruit and custardy pudding. 

Speaking of banana cream pie, don’t even think of skipping the meringue topping. Sure, whipped cream, or God forbid “whipped topping,” might be a tad easier, but we need to use up those four egg whites anyway, so do it right.

As I said in the video, this is classically made in a clear glass bowl or deep baking dish, so that you can see the beautiful banana pudding beneath the meringue. That is a great look, but as long as it’s oven-safe, and you can fit everything in, any baking dish will work. We’re not really “baking” the pudding, but just browning the top, so the depth or shape of the pan isn’t really that important.

What is important though, is that you use nice ripe, soft bananas. We want them close to the same texture as the custard-soaked cookies, to really get the full effect, so make sure you buy them at least a week before you make this. Other than that, not much can go wrong with this Southern classic. In fact, this is so simple, and kid-friendly, it’d be a great thing to make for mom on Mother’s Day, which is why I really hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown's Famous Version
Ingredients for 8 Portions:
(I used a 10-inch baking dish)
For the pudding:
1 box vanilla wafers (you’ll have extra)
3 or 4 very ripe bananas, peeled, and sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the custard:
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon banana liquor, optional
1 tablespoon cold butter
For the meringue topping:
4 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons white sugar

- Bake at 400 F. for 7-10 minutes, or until nicely browned
-- I think this is best served cold, but suit yourself! 


Nessy E. said...

What a fantastic recipe! I don't have those types of vanilla wafers available, where I am from. Could we use any tpe of vanilla wafers or is there another type of wafer alternative you could suggest?

Nessy E. said...

What a fantastic recipe! Those kind of wafers aren't available where I am from. Could we use any type of vanilla wafer or is there another wafer/ biscuit alternative you could suggest?

JP said...

Hey Chef, if I do decide to serve this cold, is there anything I can do to make sure my meringue doesn’t shrink or leak out moisture? I’ve let pies cool to room temp before putting in the fridge, but the egg whites still shrank away from the sides a little bit, despite having been spread all the way to the crust. By the way, this video is absolutely mouthwatering. Can’t speak for the South, but my midwestern Kansas grandma definitely gives it a seal of approval.

Sarah PS said...

Hi John - I think the recipe is missing most of the instructions! Thanks

Unknown said...

Hi Chef John, I want to make this for a potluck and my local supermarket sells really ripe bananas for 25 cents a pound! I wanted to ask for an estimate of how many these measurements will serve, so I know whether to double it or not. Thanks!

trachcanman said...

It is southern banana pudding it is always served warm. But you are allowed to eat leftovers the next day cold without being run out of the state.

Felix said...

should i refrigerate this or when you said cold, you mean room temp

Felix said...

Hi, should i refrigerate this or when you said cold, you mean room temp?

Catfish Kempster said...

I just made this and it turned out fantastic. Thank you for another great recipe.

Renan said...

Hi Chef John, I have a food wish! Can you make Spanish Tortilla de Patata? (Spanish potato omelette). Thanks!

sailcat9 said...

My Oklahoma born-and-raised mother used to make this dessert for us when we were kids in the late fifties and early sixties. Cheap, tasty, and satisfying! Thank you for reminding me of this wonderful dish. I have it in the oven right now!

Daniel Contreras said...

Most Glorious Chef John,
I don't know if this is the place to submit foodwishes but I would like to request "milchsuppe". Saw it in a renaissance painting, its some kind of cream-based savory dumpling soup but all the videos on it are in German. I would love to see your style hit this up.
Thank you so much if you would consider it

Unknown said...

He Chef John, how about giving rest-of-the-world-measurements as well?
Would be much appreciated!

Jennie said...

Chef John— lervvvv your recipes! Can you do a matloube (not spelling correct :( ) please!!!

darce said...

Lovely recipe and that pan is gorgeous too. What brand is it?

Awake said...

Made one tonight. To get plenty of Meringue so you can heap it high on the pie, use one more egg white.

Unknown said...

Hi Chef!
Would it be to much to ask for rest-of-the-world measurements as well?
Much appriciated!

erg said...

My grandma called this dish her version of "Dishrag Gravy." I've been looking for a recipe to try this on my own. Thanks for the recipe!

Shoshotto said...

Hi chef John. The recipe looks so great but we don't have these kind of wafers where I live. Is there any suggestions for alternatives?

Loren said...

I just finished making this and my sister and I loved it! I even made my own vanilla wafers. Can't wait to try it cold tomorrow.
Thank you for posting this recipe.

Elsebeth said...

The vanilla wafers are so easy to bake yourself, if you cannot find them in a store.

Anna Rogg said...

Why should Chef John bother? It's easy to convert US measurements to metric (and Fahrenheit to Celsius), just google "conversion tables"and fill in the blanks. You can also come up with queries like "stick of butter to grams" and "cup of wheat flour to grams" or "cup of sugar to grams". And I think Pyrex measuring cups, the ones that have both oz and ml, are available in most countries.

Unknown said...

@Anna Rogg. Why would he bother to make a recipe at all? It is all in cook books. There is a whole WORLD out there with potetial viewers, it is not a big effort to make the recipies as accessable as possible. Or do only US viewers matter?

Max said...

I just made this recipe and I think it's going to become part of my permanent dessert arsenal. Bourbon worked well as a substitute for banana liqueur. I also put a little more lemon juice than the recipe called for, which ended up giving it a nice acidic kick.

Unknown said...

The meringue sadly got rubbery after I let it cool, but aside from that this was so tasty! All of the folks at the game night where I served it were very impressed.

Have Apron....Will Bake said...

So freaking good! Made this today and I think a quarter of it was eaten right out of the dish(before we had dinner)!!😂
The recipe was simple and even the custard was no problem to make.
The meringue was really pretty when browned in the oven. This would be a great dessert for any day of the week.
Can't wait to try it cold tomorrow...maybe with a cup of coffee...breakfast?!? 😁

Chelle said...

Why are ppl so prickly? I've watched other countries chefs and just did the conversion myself. It's not that hard and I am just grateful for the recipe at all.

Unknown said...

@Chelle, yes it is not hard. But I'd rather keep watching the video. Why is that sobhard to understand?

Thel said...

Made this today with my Daughter. Was a big hit. Used coconut cookies instead of wafers.

Namvet71 said...

Hi ya'll (south Minneapolis! ) Could this recipe be cut in half? Just wanted to make enough for 2 people. Possibly in individual ramekins?
thanks in advance John.