Until I moved to/further down in the South I could probably count on one hand the amount of times I ate banana pudding. There are about 30 million different types of pudding I would rather have. Chocolate full stop.
However, I discovered the best part of banana pudding is not the pudding itself, it's the Nilla Wafers. After sitting in the pudding, they absorb the sweet pudding flavor, and it's like eating saturated milk-dipped cookies... with a spoon!!! So much awesomeness.
When assembling the NC Dim Sum recipe list, I knew that this one of the first things I had to convert simply for the deliciousness. And the fact this is a huge Southern dessert. When the pudding sets, the shell lightly absorbs the pudding, and makes this perfect for a quick snack out of the fridge.
Crust from Mini Banana Cheesecakes with Nilla Wafer Crust by Baked by Rachael.
20 Nilla Wafers
2 1/4 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
Pudding Base from Southern Banana Pudding by Evil Shenanagans.
2 cups milk, 2% or higher
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grind the Nilla Wafers in a food processor until very fine. Mix with sugar and melted butter. Push into greased mini muffin tin.
Bake at 350 for 5 minutes until slightly browned.
Make the pudding! In a medium sauce pan whisk together the milk, sugar, vanilla bean paste (if using), cornstarch, salt, egg, and egg yolk. Once well combined place the pan over medium heat and cool until thick and bubbling.
Note: at this point, it should look/stir a lot like pudding. Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter (and vanilla extract if you are using) and whisk until completely melted. Pour through a strainer to separate all chunks.
Cut the banana into small pieces. Place 1 piece in the bottom of each mini crust. Pour the custard into each crust. Chill in the fridge for 4 hours.