Cooks Exchange

Cook’s Exchange reader goes bananas for pudding

PIXABAY.COM
PIXABAY.COM

Cook’s Exchange has gone bananas. Readers share some old-time banana pudding recipes, complete with meringue frosting.

In next week’s column, look for kid snacks that also use bananas. At least one will be gluten-free and low sugar. Another recipe will be a banana pudding cake that combines cake mix and all the fixings for banana pudding.

Vida Risk of Ocean Springs asked readers for help in finding a good banana pudding recipe. Unfortunately, she has misplaced hers and wants to make it for her brother-in-law’s birthday.

Three readers have responded with four recipes. Some of the recipes are similar, but the amount of ingredients vary. Perhaps Risk will tell us which one comes closest to her lost recipe.

“This is the recipe for banana pudding that I grew up with,” said Carleen Cole of Ocean Springs. “It is the recipe that was once on the box of Nabisco vanilla wafers.”

“This is the recipe my mother used to make her wonderful banana pudding,” said Susan McDonnell. “I hope Vida can use it.”

“Here is a recipe for banana pudding a reader has requested. I found recipes in ‘Best of the Best from Mississippi’ cookbook,” said Ann Smith of Ocean Springs. “I also found one very similar in ‘The Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook’ by Paula Deen. Ingredients are identical only measured amounts may be a little different.

“I have not made either recipe before, but I believe this is similar to what Vida is looking for. I think six to eight bananas might be too many. Paula’s recipe calls for three. I also think you might need more than three dozen vanilla wafers.”

Tried and true Ramen salad

“I was excited to see your recipe for ramen noodle salad in the paper. I have been making a very similar salad for several years now,” said Mary Beth Greenleaf of Bradenton, Florida. “A friend brought us some hydroponically grown bok choy. I had never used it before, so I looked on line for a recipe.

“I found the ramen noodle salad, and it’s been happy tummy every time I make it. The original recipe didn’t say anything about cooking the noodles, and back then I couldn’t imagine them not cooked, so I cooked them. The variety of textures in the salad is wonderful, so, even though I’ve since had salad with crunchy uncooked ramen noodles, I like this variation.”

Low-sugar cake

Brenda Roberts wants a banana cake recipe that is made with Splenda and a good pound cake recipe.

“Because I am a diabetic, the cake has to be made with Splenda since it is baked,” Roberts said. “Any version of a banana cake will do so I can add it to my recipes. I appreciate it when other readers share their recipes.”

Readers, do you have low-sugar banana and pound cake recipes, preferably made with Splenda? If so, please send me the recipes for Roberts.

Roberts could substitute Splenda in the banana pudding recipes. It will also work with the meringue.

Wanted: Good chicken-fried steak

Readers, if you know of a Coast restaurant that serves a good chicken-fried steak, please let me know. Ron Hellyer is looking for one.

Endorse favorite farmers market

American Farmland Trust is once again sponsoring the Top Farmers Markets in America contest. The markets on the distinct list at the end of the celebration will receive a prize package from AFT.

This contest honors farmers markets and the farm families that provide fresh and healthy food.

Interested persons can comment and share endorsements on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. AFT also wants to know what is purchased at the markets.

Posts to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram should be tagged with #OnMyFork when sharing what was bought at markets. Go to markets.farmland.org to endorse a market.

BANANA PUDDING

3/4 cup sugar, divided

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Dash of salt

3 eggs, separated

2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 ripe bananas, sliced

Mix 1/2 cup sugar, flour and salt in the top of a double boiler. Blend in 3 egg yolks and milk. Cook uncovered in the double boiler. Stirring constantly for 10-12 minutes or until thicken. Remove from the heat.

Spread a small amount of custard on bottom of a 1 1/2-quart casserole; cover with a layer of vanilla wafers then a layer of sliced bananas. Pour 1/3 of custard over the bananas; continue to layer wafers, bananas and custard. Make 3 layers. End with the custard.

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add the remaining sugar and beat until stiff but not dry.

Spoon on top of the custard and be sure to cover to the edges. This will keep the meringue from shrinking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 -20 minutes or until brown.

Submitted by Carleen Cole

MAMA’S BANANA PUDDING

4 bananas

3 eggs, separated

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups milk

1/2 stick oleo, softened

3 tablespoons flour

Vanilla Wafers

1/8 teaspoon salt

Topping:

Egg whites from above

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg yolks and sugar. Add remaining ingredients. Cook in pot until mixture thickens. Line bowl on bottom and sides with wafers. Pour cooked pudding mixture into bowl over wafers. Once bowl is filled, shove a few wafers into the pudding; submerge them.

In mixer whip egg whites until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla; whip a little more. Put egg white mix on pudding. Bake at 350º only until meringue is lightly browned. Cool before serving.

Submitted by Susan McDonnell

BANANA PUDDING

Pudding:

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Dash of salt

4 egg yolks

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6-8 ripe bananas sliced

About 3 dozen vanilla wafers

In a double boiler over simmering water, mix sugar, flour and salt. Beat egg yolks and combine with milk. Add yolks and milk to sugar mixture stirring constantly to blend well. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently for 10 to 15 minutes until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. In a pan or casserole dish, make a layer of the cooked custard, then a layer of bananas, then a layer or vanilla wafers. Continue with layers beginning with pudding and ending with pudding.

Meringue:

4 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

6 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until frothy with an electric mixer and then add the cream of tartar. Beat again until whites stand in soft peaks that falls over when the beater is removed. Then beat in sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. After all sugar is used, beat in vanilla. Spread meringue over pudding covering the entire surface and edges of the dish. Bake for about 15 minutes or until meringue in slightly browned. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 6 to 8.

Submitted by Ann Smith from ‘Best of the Best from Mississippi’

BANANA PUDDING WITH MERINGUE

1 (12-ounce) box vanilla wafers

3 medium bananas, sliced

1/2 stick butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cup milk

4 egg yolks

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup granulated sugar, divided

Mix together 3/4 cup sugar and cornstarch and slowly add milk. This should be cooked in the top of a double boiler, but you can cook it over low to medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens. Do not leave it unattended. Slightly beat egg yolks and temper with a small amount of the hot custard; stir well. Add egg mixture to custard pot and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter. Let cool. In a 9-by-9-inch ovenproof baking dish, alternate pudding, bananas and wafers, beginning with pudding and ending with pudding. Add topping, if desired.

For the meringue topping, if using:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form, then spread onto top of pudding mixture. Bake until peaks are golden brown.

Submitted by Ann Smith from ‘The Lady and Sons’ cookbook

BOK CHOY SALAD

4 cups bok choy, chopped

A few scallions or 1/2 Vidalia onion, chopped

3 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted lightly

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted lightly

Ramen noodles: 1 package Oriental flavor, broken up, cooked 3 minutes in plain water, and drained.

Dressing:

3 tablespoons mild olive oil

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon soy sauce

Seasoning packet from ramen noodles

Mix the dressing while the noodles cook, toss everything together, and enjoy.

Optional: add diced, leftover cooked chicken.

Submitted by Mary Beth Greenleaf

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