This Is the One and Only Way I’ll Eat Bananas

The proof is in the (banana) pudding.

November 06, 2020
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Photo by: Lucy Schaeffer

Lucy Schaeffer

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I hate bananas. If you share my feelings about this awful fruit, then you also have the same issue when it comes to banana-flavored foods. Don’t even get me started on that time when everyone on the internet seemed to be baking banana bread. (Fortunately, I found an alternative — and was able to be a part of the quick bread trend).

I’ve realized, however, that some things can’t be avoided. I DO NOT skip dessert — and the ultra-popular banana seems to find its way into lots and lots of my favorite sweets. But, just like the banana bread trend from last spring, I’ve found a way to get around the whole bananas-ruining-all-my-favorite-dishes thing: banana pudding. It’s the one banana dessert that I can tolerate.

I have our test kitchen to thank for that. They developed The Best Banana Pudding recipe — it’s rich, creamy and loaded with lots of sweet flavors that help mask the banana. First, the pudding is flavored with vanilla bean paste (instead of vanilla extract) so you get a nice overload of that familiar flavor. Then, you have layers of crisp wafer cookies and fluffy, sugary whipped cream on top. You might be wondering at this point where the banana is. But don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the main ingredient (or did I? 😆). The fruit is thinly sliced and layered with the cookies and pudding in an alternating fashion until you reach the top of your trifle dish (and a nice layer of whipped cream).

The strong vanilla flavor of the pudding and the sugary goodness of the cookies and whipped cream almost hide the fact that bananas are indeed in this dish. It’s almost as if the fruit’s natural sweetness becomes a part of the whole – it’s no longer its own ingredient. And, do you know what? It’s not bad. In fact — and this is going to sound bananas — I almost want to say I like it!

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