Jelly Jar Banana Puddings
I am a huge fan of creative packaging. Cupcakes in canning jars? Jelly beans in popcorn containers? Every day dinner served in those little fish & chip baskets with a paper liner? Oh yeah, I’m there. I saw these little treats on the cover of a magazine called Southern Favorites (it’s put out by Taste of the South) and had to try them. Really, banana pudding is not one the desserts that I crave often. Really, I’d rather have pumpkin pie or a cupcake, but how I could resist something that’s actually baked in a jelly jar? Genius!
These were actually really, really good right out of the oven and delicious again for breakfast the next morning (come on…bananas, milk, and wafers…that’s practically cereal!)
I did have trouble with the pudding not setting. I stirred for the required 8 minutes and even added two more minutes, but it was still a little soupy going into the jars. I kind of thought it might set a little more during baking but it didn’t. Now, in all honestly, I didn’t stir constantly since I had about 67 million interruptions while I was stirring, so that may have been the reason. Next time, I’ll try focusing more and stirring a little longer and see what happens. Even with slightly soupy pudding, they were still yum and a fun little treat!
Here’s the recipe:
2 cups of whole milk
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup flour (the plain, all-purpose stuff)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
36 vanilla wafers (just a note here: Publix brand vanilla wafers to not taste as good as name-brand when you’re eating them out of the box, but in the pudding, I couldn’t tell a difference)
36 banana slices (about 1/4 inch thick)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Arrange 6 8oz. jelly jars (I got mine at Publix, but they have them at Wal-Mart, too)on a cookie sheet that has an edge (it make it easier to get them into the oven, if you have edges to hang on to and it keeps any pudding that bubbles over from spilling into the bottom of your oven)
3. In a large saucepan, combine milk egg yolks, and vanilla, whisking well.
4. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup sugar, flour, and salt, whisking well. Add to milk mixture, whisking to remove lumps.
5. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 8 to 10 minutes (or longer ) Add butter, whisking to combine. Let cool for 3 to 4 minutes
6. Arrange 3 cookies in the bottom of each jar. Place 3 banana slices on top of the cookies. Add 1/4 cup of the pudding mixtures over the bananas. Repeat
7. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add cream of tartar to egg whites. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Spoon meringue on top of pudding.
8. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the meringue starts to turn golden.