When asked their favorite dessert flavor, how many people immediately stand up and shout,
Well, except for these guys:
Not being a Minion, I myself wouldn’t typically place banana at the top of my list of dessert options. There are too many other amazing flavors to try, mostly revolving around chocolate. But every great once in awhile, I see a photo (or an article like this “Banana Pudding Recipes That’ll Take You Way Back to Childhood”) that makes banana pudding something I absolutely need to eat, like, immediately. As in, numbers 3, 4, and 7 in that article. NEED. And I didn’t even grow up with banana pudding, so I am clearly not the target market here.
Apparently, according to this oddly exhaustive article on the subject, banana pudding is a traditional Southern dessert, which explains its limited presence in my childhood. Arizona does not count as the South. So when I decided to make a banana pudding-based banana gingersnap trifle for a New Year’s Eve party with some dear friends of ours, I could only hope I would do it right.
Still, I have made many a pudding before, so I had that going for me. See? It’s good to have an arsenal of puddings up your sleeve. Nothing weird about having a microwave chocolate pudding for one recipe memorized. And–here’s a little secret about most banana puddings–there’s nothing actually banana-y about them until you top them with bananas. The pudding itself is basically just an uncomplicated vanilla. I know, we’ve all been lied to.
So, with a lot of past pudding experience and a little kitchen science, this banana gingersnap trifle took shape as a party buffet dessert. Ultimately, it must have been a success, because several people at the party commented on how much they enjoyed it–and who says that about banana desserts? One guy (who I don’t even know) actually interrupted me in a conversation to tell me how delicious it was before he left the party. I take that as a good sign! And I know I would certainly eat it again. A buttery gingersnap crust layered with silky pudding and whipped cream, adorned with the pretty presentation of sliced bananas–what’s not to like?
So I say:
Banana Gingersnap Trifle
A Love Letter to Food Original Recipe
For the pudding layer:
1/2 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3 egg yolks
1 large egg
1 1/2 c. 2% milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla
For the gingersnap layer:
3/4 c. crushed gingersnap cookies
3/4 c. crushed graham crackers
1/3 c. crushed pecans
1/4 melted butter
For the whipped cream:
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
2 large bananas, sliced thin
- Make the pudding: in a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt. Add egg yolks and egg and stir to combine, then stir in milk and cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently so as not to let it curdle, until the mixture begins to thicken. (A whisk should leave a defined trail in the pudding when it is done.) Transfer to a bowl, cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Make the gingersnap layer: in a medium bowl, combine gingersnaps, graham crackers, pecans, and butter. Set aside.
- Make the whipped cream: in a chilled bowl, beat heavy cream and powdered sugar on high with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Assemble the trifle: in the bottom of a trifle dish, place a layer of gingersnap mixture (about 1/3 of the total mixture). Cover with a layer of half the prepared pudding, then a layer of half the prepared whipped cream. Top with slices of 1 banana. Repeat this layering once more, using another third of the gingersnap mixture, the second half of the pudding, and the second half of the whipped cream. Sprinkle with the remaining third of gingersnap mixture and arrange slices of 1 banana around the edges of the trifle.
Serves about 10.