Everyone will go bananas for this reinvented classic.

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Credit: Joy Howard

Recipe Summary

total:
2 hrs 30 mins
active:
30 mins
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Bring this decadent dessert to your next spring celebration or holiday gathering and it's sure to be a crowd pleaser. Similar to the much-beloved classic, this pudding features alternating layers of fresh bananas, vanilla wafer cookies, and homemade pudding. But all those sweet tiers hide a little something extra in between: drizzles of salted caramel. To top it all off, the whole dessert is dolloped with a swoops and swirls of whipped cream for a light and fluffy finish, while a small scattering of cookie crumbles add a little bit of crunch. (Chopped nuts or a drizzle of extra caramel would be good too, though the recipe doesn't call for it.)

To save time on the day you plan to serve the dessert, you can make the pudding or even assemble the entire dessert, save for the whipped cream topping, a day ahead—but no longer. Any further in advance and the ingredients will become extra mushy.

Ingredients

Pudding
Assembly

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a medium heat-proof bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, and cornstarch until smooth. Set aside. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and fit with a smaller bowl.

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  • In a heavy pot over medium heat, combine the milk and heavy cream. Warm until just beginning to bubble around the edges, then pour into the egg mixture and whisk vigorously until smooth. Return the mixture to the pot and continue to cook over medium low heat until thickened, about 2 or 3 minutes more. Transfer immediately to the bowl fit in the ice bath and stir gently to cool. (The pudding does not need to be cooled completely.)

  • Add a layer of banana slices to the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish. Top with a layer of cookies. Drizzle with half the salted caramel and half the pudding. Repeat the layers. Cover loosely with foil and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 2 hours.

  • Just before serving, combine the heavy cream, confectioner's sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Use a hand mixer or whisk to whip until stiff peaks form. Top the pudding with the whipped cream. If using, crumble a few cookies and sprinkle on top. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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