The first time I ate this banana pudding, I ended up about an hour into the wrong part of Brooklyn. I was so focused on the pudding that I didn't notice when the train I was on went over the East River instead of under it, or when I missed the last stop where I possibly could have transfered to a train traveling the right direction. That's how good this pudding is. (Let's leave aside the fact that I have no sense of direction).
The fateful day when I was introduced to this pudding was also my first day of work ever in NYC. Now, again, I work quite nearby the source of this delightful pudding (Magnolia Bakery). I think about it all the time. Sometimes I wish I could just eat this for lunch. And dinner. And breakfast. And, of course dessert. Really, it's that good. You have to try it. And then, if you're in NYC, you need to go to Magnolia Bakery and try it. (Plus, you'll look less like a tourist if you aren't in line for the cupcakes only...)Banana Pudding with Nilla Wafers
From the Buttercup Bake Shop Cookbook
By Jennifer Appel of Magnolia Bakery and Buttercup Bake Shop, Adapted slightly by Alexandra Rogers
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup instant vanilla pudding powder
3 cups heavy cream
1 box Nilla wafers
6-8 medium bananas, peeled and sliced
8 16 oz. cups
On the low speed of an electric mixer, blend the water, milk and pudding powder until thoroughly mixed, about 1 minute. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight) until firm.
Blend water, sweetened condensed milk and pudding powder together until mixed thoroughly, on the low speed of an electric mixer (about 1 minute). Refrigerate the pudding mixture for at least 4 hours, until firm. If you like, this can be left overnight.
In a separate bowl, preferably another electric mixer bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form (about 6-7 minutes). Soft peaks have formed when you remove the beaters from the bowl and the mixture forms little peaks at the end of the beaters, but soft, wilting little peaks. (See image from fitsugar, below, for guidance).
Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well incorporated. I like to use a rubber scraper and try to incorporate as much air into the bowl as I can while I mix.
In a large bowl, or (as I prefer) several small glasses, layer nilla wafers, pudding mixture and bananas. Layer until cups are full and pudding is gone and decorate with crushed nilla wafers on top. Refrigerate for about 60 minutes before serving. Serves 7-8.