A friend of mine had been in New York visiting family, on her last day there she stopped at the infamous Magnolia Bakery for a bite of yum...she ended up buying more than she could eat but could not bring herself to throw anything away. In the cab on her way to JFK she stuffed in a few more bites of cupcake, finally finishing them off but the banana pudding was still untouched. Once at the airport she completely forgot about the banana pudding that was in her carry-on - until she got to security. She pulled the pudding from her bag and walked a few feet to a garbage can to toss it - never having tasted it. She stopped herself, deciding that she had to at least have a taste and then she'd toss it, get back in line and get to her gate. A big, burly TSA guy was standing near, watching her. He saw her peel open the seal, watched her as she took her first bite, then presumably, watched as her eyes rolled back into her head. After eating half of the pudding she decided it was enough (although how one could ever decide such a thing is beyond me!) and was just about to toss it when the TSA guy stepped up and said, "You're not really going to throw that away are you? It's Magnolia's Banana Pudding!! That would just be wrong!" So my friend offered the pudding to the guy and HE TOOK IT!! And then he ate it, every last drop in about two seconds!
This is not a homemade pudding (my favorite banana pudding recipe can be found here - it's a more involved recipe, definitely worth the time though!) because it uses packaged and purchased ingredients which makes it much easier to make, however, you'll have to wait until it's chilled and set - otherwise known at banana pudding torture!
Since I was taking a batch of this to a friend as "payment" for PGA tickets - I figured it was a fair trade...I doubled the recipe so there would be plenty left over for us. The recipe below makes enough for 6 to 8 servings.
Banana Pudding - Adapted Slightly from Magnolia Bakery
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand)
3 cups heavy cream
1 (12-ounce) box Nabisco Nilla Wafers (no substitutions!)
4 cups sliced ripe bananas
2 to 3 tablespoons Banana Liquor, optional (I like the additional banana flavor from this liquor - it's beyond delicious!)
In a small bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight, before continuing. It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set...patience grasshopper.
In a large bowl, on medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain. Sprinkle the banana liquor over the mixture and fold in until well blended.
To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably glass) with a 4-5-quart capacity. Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if necessary, then one-third of the bananas and one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or wafer crumbs on the top layer of the pudding. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours - or up to 8 hours, but no longer! - before serving.
"Have enough sense to know, ahead of time, when your skills will not extend to wallpapering." ~ Marilyn Vos Savant