Magnolia Bakery - made super famous by NYC-based T.V. shows like "Sex & The City" (which is a completely accurate depiction of every girl's life in Manhattan....) While I was in high school, they opened a location in my old neighborhood, Lincoln Center (I realize they probably have about 200 locations by now...). They are pretty famous for their cupcakes and other baked goods. But to be completely honest, I rarely visited Magnolia for their cupcakes. (Note: I'm super super picky and snobby about cupcakes. I can't help it...)
Their banana pudding was always my jam. It is bonkers good. At one point in my life, my need for banana pudding trumped my need to go to class. I'd sit there with a good cup of coffee, a friend, two spoons, and one pint of Magnolia's banana pudding. Bottom line: It is delicious. It is rich, luxurious, and totally decadent. But super light at the same time. It's dessert crack.
A couple of years ago, a good friend told me that: (a) Magnolia Bakery released a cookbook, which included the recipe for banana pudding. (b) It's super freakin easy to make. He then brought a tupperware of the stuff to our quartet rehearsal and I practically swooned. I hadn't seen this stuff since I had moved away from New York. This is why we're still great friends.
As it turns out, making the stuff is so damn easy. So easy that I will probably never ever purchase it ever again. It has become my go-to dessert because it is super easy on the wallet (attn: college students) and it feeds a good crowd. I've taken it to countless parties, birthdays, potlucks, etc... and it is always a hit.
I realize that I'm not leaving you with something particularly original/innovative. But countless people have asked me for this recipe. And I'm super happy to share one of my favorite desserts of all time.
(And... we had another party (that's party #2 in one week!), I made banana pudding, and now I'm blogging about it...)
Note: This recipe requires you to plan ahead! I would recommend starting the night before you're planning on serving your banana pudding.
Ingredients: One 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk 1 1/2 cups ice cold water One 3.4 oz. package of instant vanilla pudding mix (Jell-O brand recommended!) 3 cups heavy cream One 12 oz. box Nabisco Nilla Wafers (no substitutions) 4 cups sliced ripe bananas
Mix together (with an electric mixer or by hand) the sweetened condensed milk & water until combined. Add in the pudding mix and beat well, until you've gotten rid of all of the lumps. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight. You must allow the pudding mixture to set before you go on with the rest of the recipe!
Did the pudding set? Okay, good. Go on. In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream with an electric mixer (I don't recommend doing this by hand - wayyyy too tedious!) until stiff peaks form. Fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until blended.
Assembly: Use a wide/large bowl for the dessert. For presentation purposes, a glass bowl works well (you'll be able to see all of the pretty layers!). Unfortunately, I didn't have one handy...so I used a pretty blue mixing bowl. Arrange 1/3 of the Nilla wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if you need to. Then alternate layers of pudding, sliced bananas, and wafers. Finish with a layer of pudding. Garnish the top layer with wafers or wafer crumbs. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4-8 hours. Serve & Enjoy!
Happy Sunday! Miran