Homemade, from scratch, banana pudding is about the best thing on the planet when it comes to good eats. But occasionally, I happen upon someone who doesn’t like bananas, so they avoid this amazing dessert. No worries! There is more than one way to make this pudding!
Crushed pineapple is an excellent substitution for banana and the light sunshiney flavor is perfectly complemented by the homemade custard. This is great when folks don’t care for bananas or if you don’t have any on hand since canned pineapple is nice and shelf stable. Banana pudding aficionados don’t skip a beat when you place this before them, either. My kids can attest to that – and they usually don’t like pineapple!
But before we get in the kitchen, I’m gonna share my heart with you a bit.
Have you ever woke up with a sense of dread?
I used to do that pretty much every day. It was self inflicted, really, a habit I formed over time due to my own thoughts and actions.
No one was to blame. My life wasn’t horrible. I wasn’t going through any particular agony of note. In fact, if I were to have stood back and objectivally looked at my life I would have had to admit that a good majority of my dreams had already come true and I really had it pretty darn good, especially compared to the majority of the world. A roof over my head, a good husband, and two healthy children. What more could I ask for?
So what was wrong? My attitude.
I got in a habit, which is easy to do, of looking for the negative. Often in today’s society, it is actually the “in” thing to do with pop culture encouraging us to be snarky, sarcastic, and complain about things – to raise ourselves up by feeling superior (which is why I have ditched pop culture but that is a story for another day).
So what did I do? First of all, I admitted that I was the problem. I’ve found that folks who aren’t willing to do that spend lifetimes digging deeper and deeper holes as they slowly bury themselves and blame the world for it.
Then, I went back to my roots, followed the example of my ancestors that the Lord set before me, got over myself, and changed my thinking. It was a process, but it began with only one step and when I dedicated myself to repeating that one step it eventually picked up speed and snowballed.
What was the step? I decided to look for things to be grateful for.
Cultivating a grateful heart has improved every single aspect of my life far more than I could have ever imagined.
But it started with me realizing that I couldn’t change the world…
but I could change me.
So I did.
Now let us make some pineapple pudding.
You’ll need: Vanilla Wafers, Flour, Milk, Sugar, Crushed Pineapple, Eggs, Salt, and vanilla.
My mother says you have to buy name brand Nilla wafers and I do agree with her, they really are the best. However, if my budget doesn’t allow, I have no problem with buying generic at 50% of the cost of name brand. Once you drown them in this yummy pudding, no on will know the difference unless you tell them.
To begin with, crack and separate your eggs, whites in one bowl and yolks in the other.
It is important that you not get any yolks in your whites because we are going to whip those up into a meringue later and if they have yolks in them, it won’t work. However, if you do get yolks in them, you can just go ahead and leave the merginue off (or if you just want to leave the meringue off!) and serve it plain or with a whipped cream topping as well.
In a medium saucepot, combine your milk, flour, sugar, and eggs.
Put this over medium heat and stir constantly until it is smooth, creamy, and thickened.
This will probably take 10-15 minutes so you can use this time to call your Mama or finish learning the words to that rap song you want to be able to sing in order to increase your effectiveness at embarassing your teenager.
We must always make time for the important things
Once that is all thick and creamy and delicious, pour in your vanilla.
This is the step I pretty much always forget whenever I am making a homemade pudding on TV so if you ever see me doing that on a tv show, you’ll notice that I position the vanilla so that it is completely in my way during cooking to help me remember it.
Yum diddly pudding!
Place half of the vanilla wafers in the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish.
Spread half of the crushed pineapple (undrained) over this.
Pour half of the pudding over.
Add the rest of the wafers.
The rest of the crushed pineapple…
and the rest of the pudding.
Now it’s time to make our meringue!
Place egg whites in a perfectly clean mixing bowl.
It has to be totally clean because if there is any greasy residue it will keep the meringue from setting up.
The last time I showed some cracked eggs there was a whole long conversation in the comments about whether or not folks should leave that little white part in. This is an easy one for me – I’m too busy cooking supper to fret over a natural part of the egg but if it bothers you, by all means fish it out. When you find something so easy to change that will just right your world in some way, by all means, change it!
To make meringue:
- Beat egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. This means, when you pull the beaters out of it, there is a peak of meringue sticking up where the beaters were and it collapses down a little after you remove the beaters.
- Add sugar. Beat until still peaks form. This means, when you pull the beaters out of it, there is a peak of meringue sticking up where the beaters were and it stays sticking up.
- You can see photos of making a meringue on this post.
Spread the meringue over the top of your pudding, taking care to make sure it touches the sides of the pan on all sides.
This prevents it from pulling back from the sides while it bakes.
Place in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or just until the meringue is browned. Check it often while cooking.
I prefer to serve this immediately while it is still warm but you can wait a bit or even serve it cold later, but please try warm and fresh first
Before you dig in, take a moment to close your eyes, bow your head, and give thanks for all of your blessings.
- ½ cup sugar (or Splenda)
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- dash salt
- 1 box vanilla wafers
- 20 ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
- 3 egg whites
- ¼ cup sugar
- Place egg yolks, milk, ½ cup sugar, flour, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, cook until thickened - about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Place half of wafers in bottom of 8x8 baking dish. Spread ½ of pineapple on top. Cover with ½ of custard. Repeat.
- Place egg whites in clean mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer until soft peaks form (see post for more clarification on this). Add sugar. Beat again until stiff peaks form. Spread over top of pudding and take care to make sure the merginue touches the sides all around. Place in 350 oven until top is lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
- Best if served warm.
“Integrity is Christlike character in work clothes.”
~Unknown. Submitted by Ashanti Hoskins. Click here to read more or submit your own.