02 July 2009

Banana Pudding... Niger Style

Banana Pudding has been a favorite dessert of mine since... well, probably since forever. That and apple pie and anything with raspberries. I knew when we first started preparing to come to Niger, that I'd be cooking much more from scratch (and even took time to learn how BEFORE I got here), but I don't think I understood exactly what that meant until I'd lived here for a bit. I don't can't just run to the store and pick up a few boxes of instant pudding, vanilla wafers and cool whip to make banana pudding, like I had learned. So... here's how I do so... here...

First, there is vanilla pudding to make~

  • 5 T cornstarch
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 C milk powder
  • 1 3/4 C water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Combine dry ingredients together in a saucepan; add water and mix thoroughly. Cook until thinckened, stirring constantly. Separately, beat egg slightly then stir in sugar. Pour a little hot mixture over egg and then return to pan. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Add butter then remove from heat. Add vanilla and cool.

Note: for a fluffier pudding, spearate egg white, beat and add when pudding has cooled a bit.

I triple this when I'm making it for the family. =D

Then, we make the vanilla wafers~

  • 1/3 C butter
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 400°. Cream together the butter, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla. Add the flour and baking powder and mix well. Form into round balls about 1 inch in diameter and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes.

I also triple this recipe.

To actually assemble the banana pudding...

The morning of the day we are going to eat it (unless there is a strike or rioting going on in the city) I head in to the market to buy 3-4 kg of bananas, depending on how they look. I always have to have extras because the kids devour them and I want to make sure there are enough left over for the actual pudding.

Once safely home again, I mix up about 3 cups of whipping creme with sugar and fold that into the already chilled vanilla pudding.

Jonathan and Elsie Mae love to help with the next part. We put a layer of vanilla wafers on the bottom of the serving dish, peel and slice a thick layer of bananas, layer the puddng/whipping creme mix on top of that, use the remaining vanilla wafers to line around the side after crumbling a few to spread around the top...

There are other presentations of banana pudding that I prefer... but this is the kiddos' favorite, so for now, we stick with this...

And here is how it normally turns out... and it doesn't look like this for long unless I keep an armed, well-paid and well-trained guard responsible for it. Otherwise, little fingers (and not so little ones from the kiddos' daddy) are known to find their way in for a pre-taste!


  1. Thanks for the pudding recipe, we will be trying it soon! I made the wafers a few weeks back when i had asked you for the recipe, they are wonderful! I will try this recipe for the pudding and I will not have to bake the pudding! Awesome! I learn something from you everytime!


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