Tag Archives: desert

Happy Birthday Harry Potter!

1 Aug

As some (but not most) may know, today, July 31st, is the birthday of Harry Potter. To commemorate one of the most loved fictional characters (and one of the most extraordinary)  of all time, let us remember the lovely cake made by Hagrid on Harry’s eleventh birthday. Happy Birthday Harry!

*FOR THE RECORD: Here in Georgia, it is in fact still July 31st, NOT August 1st.

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Grandma’s Banana Pudding

22 Jul

Banana pudding. It’s one of those few things that we’ll eat as a kid and still love (comparable to… macaroni and cheese?). However, when it comes to making one, it can seem a little daunting. I have always loved my grandmother’s homemade banana pudding with the many layers and frothy meringue, and when I went to spend some time with her this summer I made it a point to learn how to make one! To my surprise, it was actually quite simple and I hope to share the experience with you with some pictures (taken by myself) and simple steps.

To begin, you will need:

  • One or Two boxes of Nilla Wafers
  • Four bananas
  • Six eggs (set out ahead of time to let them reach room temperature)
  • Three packets of Jell-o vanilla pudding (you may choose Instant, but personally I think the kind that you cook is better for this recipe.)
  • A bit of Cream of Tartar
  • A few drops of Vanilla Extract
  • A large mixing bowl
  • A large pan (for the pudding)
  • Electric mixer

*These ingredients are for a large pudding. My grandmother says she “do[esn’t] use measurements. [She] just use[s] what looks right.” And… it always turns out perfect. So, if you are not such a masterful chef like I am, just make the large pudding with these amounts. Plus, you really can judge by look on this one.  

STEP ONE: Prepare

You need to set the eggs out long before anything else to let them warm to room temperature. This just helps the meringue work more smoothly. Also, peel and slice a banana or two. You may choose to do this as you go along.

STEP TWO: Cook the Pudding

Mix the powder and milk as directed and stir, stir, stir!

STEP TWO AND A HALF: Make First Layer

While you keep stirring (or have someone help…) you may want to go ahead and make your first layer of the pudding. This pudding will have several layers depending upon how large your dish is. Simply line the dish in Nilla Wafers and create some lines to fill it. Then, begin layering the sliced bananas in between like so…

STEP THREE: Separate Egg Whites

As you wait for your pudding to thicken and/or cool, go ahead and separate the egg whites. (*Note: You want your pudding to cool a bit so that you don’t turn your bananas brow… yuck.) They will look like this…

STEP FOUR: Pudding

Ladle a layer of pudding over your first layer of wafers and bananas until it covers them. Don’t make it too thick, but just enough to cover the first layer completely.

STEP FIVE: Add A Layer 

Next, you just repeat step 2 1/2 and 4. Sorry, that was slightly confusing. In other words, make another layer of wafers, bananas and pudding. Repeat this until you have three layers or so (or until you run out of pudding, which should be at about three layers).

STEP SIX: Meringue (check out good old Merrium-Webster if you don’t know how to pronounce this one…)

Don’t be intimidated. It is actually quite easy. Simply begin by beating the egg whites with a mixer on about medium.

 

 

 

 

 

Once the egg whites start to look frothy, add in (here comes the guesswork) a pinch of Cream of Tartar, a few drops of Vanilla Extract (does NOT taste like vanilla) and some sugar for flavoring. You will need a scoop or two of sugar.

 

Continue beating the egg whites on the high setting until the (now) meringue peaks. It should look like this. <—

 

 

 

 

 

STEP SEVEN: Add Topping

Now it is time to put the meringue on the pudding. Simply get a spatula and pour the meringue from one end to the other and then spread it out to the edges with the spatula. If you feel like getting fancy, you can make some peaks on the top!

STEP EIGHT: Brown Meringue

Or should I say, put the oven on broil and stick in the pudding for a very short amount of time until the top is a light golden brown.

AND…

TADA! A beautiful and delicious old fashioned banana pudding! I know this seemed long but it wasn’t all that bad. Was it?