Homemade Banana Custard Part 2

Now when, where or by whom the banana custard recipe was created I do not know. I do know that my grandmother learned to make it and the recipe was committed to memory. She never referred to a recipe though she sometimes would get out a pencil and paper to do some math when she made an extra-large batch for a family gathering.

Before I share the recipes I want to stress the term "ripe banana". Most of you have never seen a ripe one or you threw it away if you did. Ripe is when the skin is completely freckled with brown and it may even have a few all brown spots on the skin. Green and yellow bananas will get tough and chewy when the hot custard or pudding is poured over them. The truly ripe one will release some flavor to the dish. Get past your mindset and try it my way one time.

When I speak of batch size I mean the amount of milk that goes into the dish. The recipes are modular starting with one cup of milk and can be doubled, tripled etc. I consider a two cup batch to be about right for 3-5 people depending on how much they eat. A deeper dish for any given batch is better so you can layer the ingredients.

I do recommend that you make a double batch the first time you try the recipe since it is very difficult to achieve the proper layering technique with a single batch. And there is also the fact that you will eat more than you think you will. As a matter of fact if I may borrow and twist a well-known older marketing slogan, I bet you can't eat just a single bite.

Custard (recommended):
1 cup of whole or 2% milk
1/3 cup of white sugar
2 level Tbs of corn starch
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. banana extract
1/2 TBS of softened butter
1 large egg (yoke only)
1 fully ripe banana
20 (approx.) vanilla wafers

Prepare a single layer of the cookies in your dish of choice.

Combine the sugar, corn starch and salt; mix well. Pre heat the stove to a medium high heat. Add the milk and flavorings to the dry mix and stir thoroughly. Then place it on the burner. Stir constantly until it thickens. It will start to thicken slightly and then like magic the milk will turn to pudding almost instantly. Get it off the heat and stir for just another minute to keep it from scorching in the hot pan.

Then slice your banana into 1/2" thick slices using about one slice per cookie. Add a layer of warm custard and repeat the process until all the custard is used. Crumble a few cookies and add a thin layer of cookie dust to the top layer of pudding.

A 7" round glass dish that is 3" deep is the perfect size for a triple batch and would also be my dish of choice for a double batch. A single batch needs a smaller vessel to allow for the layers.

Serve warm! Leftovers can be refrigerated but they will never be as good as the warm stuff.

Instant Pudding (not recommended):
Use vanilla flavored pudding. Follow the box directions and add 1/4 tsp. of banana extract per cup of milk. Follow the layering technique above.

Cooked box Pudding (decent quick substitute):
Use vanilla flavored pudding. Follow the box directions and add 1/4 tsp. of banana extract per cup of milk. Follow the layering technique above.

*crème patisserie [KREHM pah-tee-see-EHR] The French term for "pastry cream," a thick, flour-based egg custard used for tarts, cakes and to fill cream puffs, éclairs and napoleons.

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