Mason Jar Banana Pudding
Try this classic Southern recipe served with rustic style.
Pretty much everyone has had banana pudding, but if you’re from the South, the classic dessert is a must-have fixture in restaurants and at picnics, potlucks and barbecues. A near-perfect combination of creamy vanilla pudding, ripe bananas and vanilla wafers, the construction method is a nod to the English trifle and relies on a non-native fruit that first appeared in the U.S. in the late 1800s. Although bananas weren’t grown in the South, the early popularity of bananas and the glorious dessert they spawned is still a matter of geography. As importers embraced the exotic banana, boat after boat arrived in New Orleans (the closest port city), prices rivaled locally grown produce and bananas were available at times when regional crops were out of season. Bananas were soon a part of everyday Southern dining and by the early 1900s, banana pudding was downright common in a food culture built on availability and value.
Unlike some dishes born in the South, recipes for this year-round favorite don't vary too widely. The most common dispute lies with the topping. While some prefer whipped cream or imitation whipped topping, meringue honors the earliest recipes as it uses the egg whites left over after separating the egg yolks needed to make the rich, custardy pudding.
Banana pudding is most often prepared in a baking or casserole dish, but we love the rustic elegance of single-serving comfort food served in half-pint Mason jars. Think of it as a mini-trifle bowl selected for availability and value. Welcome to the South.
Mason Jar Banana Pudding
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups vanilla wafers
- 4 ripe bananas, sliced
- 4 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 tablespoons sugar
Combine flour, sugar, salt and nutmeg together in a bowl.
Whisk egg yolks into milk.
Whisk dry mix into milk/eggs and transfer into a heavy saucepan.
Bring to boil over medium-high heat.
Stirring constantly, continue to cook 4-5 minutes until pudding becomes thick.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Place a layer of vanilla wafers in bottom of 8 half-pint mason jars.
Add sliced bananas to jars.
Spoon a thick layer of pudding into jars.
Add more wafers and and cover with pudding, leaving about half an inch of space at the top of the jar.
In a stand mixer, whisk egg whites and vanilla extract to form soft peaks.
Slowly add sugar to meringue and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form.
Top each jar of banana pudding with a layer of meringue extending over the rim.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 4 minutes until meringue is puffy with golden brown peaks.
Cool on counter, then refrigerate before serving.