This recipe is a little labor-intensive but totally worth it. An immediate shortcut: I made homemade pudding here because it's not that much more laborious than the heat-and-serve kind you get in the grocery store, and I had control of the amount of sugar. The boxed variety could easily be substituted. This hybrid between a shortbread and oatmeal cookie (thanks to the granola flour) is a perfect base for sweet, rich banana pudding. The cookie itself is not too sweet and stands up to the pudding without getting too soggy. *To make granola flour, start with a limited-ingredient granola (think honey, maple, or plain. My go-to is any of the Golden Girl Granolas from MA). Simply grind desired amount of granola in a coffee grinder until it's the texture of almond or corn meal. —Mary Catherine Tee
For the cookies (makes about 2 dozen)
sticks of butter, room temperature
egg, room temperature
high-quality maple syrup
granola flour*see note above
maple granola (or other limited ingredient granola like honey or plain)
For the pudding
bananas (slightly browned are the best for this) cut into 1/2 inch pieces
eggs, whites and yolks separated (whites reserved for meringue)
ripe bananas, thinly sliced
meringue to top (method below)
In This Recipe
For the cookies: Using a stand or hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until creamed together.
Add the egg, maple syrup, and vanilla to the bowl and mix until well combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the granola flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix well on medium speed. Add remaining dry ingredients, mixing until the dough just starts to form. Add granola and mix until the granola is just incorporated.
With floured hands, remove dough from bowl and shape into a fat log. Wrap completely in a piece of plastic wrap and using the heels of your hands, roll against the counter to form a long log, about 2 inches in diameter. If the dough is too soft to shape, place in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until the dough has set slightly.
Once you've formed a log, place wrapped dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (the cookie dough will stay good for 2 days in the fridge and indefinitely in the freezer).
When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the log of cookie dough into 1/4 inch slices. Place on a prepared cookie sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes or until the edges are browned and the center has set. Place on a cooling rack to cool.
For the Pudding:
In a large saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Pour in milk gradually, stirring constantly until well combined. Place on burner and cook over medium heat. Add ripened bananas once everything has dissolved and liquid is smooth. Continue cooking stirring constantly for about 3-4 minutes or until mixture starts to boil and thicken.
Meanwhile, slightly beat the egg yolks in a spouted bowl or large measuring cup.
Once the milk mixture has thickened, remove the bananas with a slotted spoon and discard. Add about 2 cups of the hot milk mixture to egg yolks, stirring constantly making sure the eggs don't cook. Once well-combined, add egg yolks back to the large saucepan, stirring constantly for about a minute or two more.
Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Let sit to cool for a few minutes .
To assemble the pudding: line the bottom (and sides if you'd like) of a round 2 qt. casserole dish with baked granola cookies ( I used about 14).
Layer cookies with 4-6 thinly sliced bananas.
Pour hot pudding mixture over bananas and spread evenly with a spatula. Top pudding with meringue (recipe below) making sure the meringue completely covers pudding. Mold/decorate meringue to your liking.
Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve warm (preferable) or cold.
For the meringue:
In a large bowl, add 4 room temperature egg whites, 1/2 tsp cream of tartar, and 1 tsp. vanilla. With an electric mixer, beat on medium heat or until soft peaks form. Adding 1 Tbsp at a time, add a total of 1/2 cup ultra fine sugar to the mixture, beating constantly until stiff peaks form, Spread over hot pudding.
I’m an old soul. My favorite Saturday morning activity is watching birds on the feeder while drinking strong, black coffee out of my favorite hand-thrown mug. My favorite place to kill time is in antique stores. The less organized the better. I like full-bodied red wines and bitter IPAs. I live for feeling the warmth of sunshine and hearing the stillness of freshly fallen snow. I can thank my stint in Alaska for that. I have salt water in my veins, having grown up in Eastern NC, and (shhh…don’t tell any of my Mainer friends this about me) I prefer blue crab over lobster.