Monday, June 2, 2008

Anti-Diet Food

With the wedding fast approaching, I've been asked to cut back on butter, lighten up on the cream, and take it easy with the sugar. Everybody, including me, needs to fit into their nice clothes and try to look good for the pictures, so when the baking urge struck again, I turned to my trusty Cooking Light cookbook for baking ideas that were tasty yet wouldn't decimate a bride's diet.

What snagged my attention was the banana pudding. I may possibly be the last person on the planet who's never tried banana pudding. I don't remember ever having it as a child and I'd never attempted it as an adult. But this recipe, combines with the fact that I had a fat bunch of bananas sitting on the counter convinced me to give it a whirl.

Let me warn you. This is no diet dish. Oh, yes, the good folk at Cooking Light reduced fat, calories and cholesterol, but they made it deadly delicious. It begs to be snacked on. It calls seductively when you walk by. I could actually hear it from inside the fridge. It's so good that I've made it twice. The second time 4 of us polished it off in 2 days. Oh, what little piggies we are!

So, you are warned. Don't make this dish unless you have a large family, have company coming over, or have neighbors who are happy to take your leftovers off your hands. If it's just two of you, you'll regret it!

Can't Keep My Spoon Out Of It Banana Pudding
adapted from All New Complete Cooking Light Cookbook


2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups 2% milk
1 (4-inch) vanilla bean, split lengthwise (1/2 a bean if you're using one of these beans)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten


4 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar

80 vanilla wafers (about 1 box)*
5 cups sliced banana (about 6 bananas)

1- Preheat oven to 325 deg. F.

2- Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1-1/4 cups sugar, and salt in a large saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into milk mixture, and drop in the pod, too. Cook over medium heat 12 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.

3- Place eggs in a large bowl; gradually add hot milk mixture, stirring constantly. Pour mixture in pan; cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Discard vanilla bean.

4- Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until egg whites are foamy. Add 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.

5 - Arrange 33 vanilla wafers in bottom of a 3-quart round baking dish (I used an oven-safe large mixing bowl). Arrange half of banana over wafers. Pour half of custard over banana. Repeat with 33 vanilla wafers, banana, and custard. Top with meringue. Arrange remaining vanilla wafers around edge of meringue.

6- Bake at 325 deg. F for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve pudding warm or chilled. Cover leftovers with plastic wrap and store refrigerated. Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup).

*Note: you can buy a box of vanilla wafers, or it you'd like to add a peanut butter flavor to your pudding make your own wafers using this recipe.

In case that kind of thing matters to you, one serving has 289 calories, 5.1 g. fat, gets 16% of the calories from fat, has 6.1 g. protein, 33 mg cholesterol, and 94 mg calcium.


Chelsea said...

It's a good thing I don't like pudding then. Well, I have about a year until my sister's wedding and who knows when Josh and I will actually plan our wedding, so I probably don't need to worry too much, yet.

Anonymous said...

i love pudding! this looks so delicious! i make this tiramisu pudding, and the entire batch i make is always gone within half a day...this recipe looks just as dangerous!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Even the strictest diet can (and should) include a little banana pudding :0)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Lynn this is my very favorite recipe from cooking light. I've even done it with skim milk and it's still wonderful. Love it.

Sarah said...

One of the greatest things about living in the South is that it is so easy to find banana pudding. Yours looks so yummy!

Aimée said...

Lynn, I'll take that as a dare-I'm sure Danny and I could take very good care of a batch.
Looks GOOD!

Sean said...

I can see that my skills are missed: Keeping the fridge clear of all those nasty, anti-diet foods has always been my strong point. Well, that and cleaning out leftovers.

Melanie said...

You aren't the only one who hasn't ever made or tasted banana pudding. Neither have I! But my husband loves it and has been asking me to try it - your post was timely! Thanks - it looks fantastic.

Anonymous said...

I like the sound of this too. I love banana pudding and haven't had it since 1976. I think I will be trying this one out. yum and stomach growls.

test it comm said...

I still haven't tried a banana pudding though it is on my list to try. Banana puddings sound really good and yours looks great! I like the baked on meringue finish!!

LyB said...

Well, count me in as one who's never had banana pudding! It looks wonderful though, so creamy and luscious!

Peabody said...

At least you are eating sugar. I ate no sugar for 4 months before my wedding. Ugh.
That banana pudding does look anti diet.

grace said...

is banana pudding a southern thing? where i'm from, there's always a big ol' bowl of it at every potluck dinner and picnic, yet i've met so many people in ny that've never had the fortune of eating some, i have to wonder. they're missing out! it's a go-to dessert for me, i love it, and this looks like a killer recipe for it!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I think that officially I am the last person who has never tried banana pudding. This looks so good, Lynn! I can totally understand why it was gone so fast. :)

Karen Baking Soda said...

No Patricia, that's me! Never ever tried it...but I can see it in my near future..

eatme_delicious said...

Ooo this sounds good! I love that there's meringue on top. I should check out that Cooking Light cookbook.

Nora B. said...

I luuuuurve banana pudding. The first time I made it was in the USA when I lived with an American family. I still remember the brand of vanilla wafers, called Nilla, I think.

This pudding is definitely dangerous to have around. I wouldn't be able to stop myself from having a spoonful each time I pass by the fridge... ;-)


giz said...

You're mistaken - you're not the last person left in the world who's never had banana pudding - I was right behind you and you didn't see me. What planet have I been on - probably ORK. Definitely tagged - special occasion (me waking up is a special occasion).

Gigi said...

Hi, I just crawled from under my rock and this banana pudding is new to me.

Where have I been? Banana pudding looks and sounds heavenly!

Suzana said...

Lynn, I'm afraid you're not the last person on the planet who's never tried banana pudding. I haven't so far but I'll have that fixed pretty soon. Sounds yummy! ;)

Gretchen Noelle said...

To be truthful, I don't know that I have ever had banana pudding. It sounds good now, but never would have interested me growing up. Maybe I should try it?

Shelby said...

I have never in my 44 years had this either! We are preparing for a wedding here also. My son is getting married on July 5. I may have to try this treat out while I am on vacation as the bride to be loves this dish!

giz said...

I just made and posted your recipe today. Wow - it was a huge hit and totally addictive.