I recently indulged in a homemade banana pudding that might have spoiled me for any version of the Nilla wafer confection made with a Jell-O brand instant product. A sultry marriage of rich, satiny homemade custard, frothy whipped cream and crisp cookies kissed with edges of perfect sogginess...ah, I could wax on about the sublime texture of that dessert.
But what really intrigued me was its name: Eloise's Simply Delicious Lyman's Favorite Banana Pudding.
The grandmother of a lifelong friend, Eloise is responsible for many of my happiest taste memories--from banana pudding to pea soup--all of which share the prefix "Eloise's Simply Delicious."
After realizing that she often discovered recipes, tested and perfected them and lent them out, never receiving credit for her formulas, Eloise began to brand them. Hence Eloise's Simply Delicious Lyman's Favorite Banana Pudding, created for her beloved husband, Lyman.
It's unclear whether Eloise has an alternate recipe for a Simply Delicious banana pudding that was not Lyman's Favorite (Eloise's Simply Delicious Lyman's Second-Favorite Banana Pudding?), but, knowing Eloise, if she did have multiple recipes, none of them called for instant pudding. Eloise's Simply Delicious is a very different thing from "simple."
The recipe for Eloise's Simply Delicious Lyman's Banana Pudding is after the jump.
Eloise's Simply Delicious Lyman's Favorite Banana Pudding
8-9 moderate servings
4 Tbsp. flour
2/3 c. sugar
scant 1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 c. cream, whipped. Use half to incorporate into pudding and half to garnish top of finished pudding
juice of 1/2 lemon
vanilla wafers or lady fingers
Mix first three items in top of double boiler. Add milk and cook over boiling water until thickened. (It won't be very thick). Cook 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Pour a small amount of hot mixture into beaten eggs and whisk very well. Return it to hot mixture and stir to blend. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and cool completely. Fold in whipped cream. Slice bananas and sprinkle very lightly with lemon juice. Line serving bowl with wafers or lady fingers and then layer custard and bananas making several layers. Top with remaining whipped cream, dust with nutmeg and chill again.
Optional additional toppings if you want to gild the lily:
crumbled Heath Bars
1/2 c. sugar
3/4 c. coarsely chopped pecans
2 Tbsp. water
Combine all of above and boil until it turns brown. Pour into cookie sheet to cool. Crush and sprinkle on top.