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Banana Pudding

Well anyone from The South will tell you, the only decisions to make about fresh banana pudding is with or without skin and how big a serving. With this delicious version, there is some fresh whipped cream and it is topped off with sliced bananas and the crumbled cookies (see below). In a word: phenomenally delicious (OK, two words but that’s how good it is). And desserts are just that, just desserts, but adding bananas also adds a good source of vitamin B6, magnesium and fiber for good gut health.


  • 1 cup of cream
  • 2 ½ cups of milk (1/2 cup reserved)
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ¼ cup of cornstarch
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs + 1 yolk, beaten
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ¼ cup dark rum
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 bananas, mashed


In a large saucepan, gently heat the milk, cream and sugar. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the reserved ½ cup of milk. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the salt, eggs, contents of the vanilla bean, rum, lemon juice and bananas. Gently bring the liquid up to a simmer and slowly add the dissolved cornstarch. Continue to stir the liquid as it thickens so contents on the bottom do not stick and burn. If the liquid starts to boil, turn down the heat. Continue to stir until the liquid reaches a pudding consistency; about 10-15 minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve to eliminate any large lumps. You may serve heated right from the stove top or cool and refrigerate. If you like a skin on top, leave uncovered; without a skin place some cling wrap on top of the pudding.

Vanilla Cardamom Cookies

The scent of these cookies reminds me of the spice bazaar in Istanbul; perfect with a cup of apple tea or even just by their lonesome.

  • 1 1/3 cup of AP flour
  • 4 oz. of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ tsp. of baking powder
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ½ tsp. ground cardamom (freshly ground is best)
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the flour. Allow the butter to soften, then cream in a stand mixer with the sugar. Add the flour, egg, baking powder, contents of the vanilla bean, salt, and cardamom and combine. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet in small balls. Cook for about 12 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove and cool.

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