April, A Sweet Month

Look at those meringues!

This year is breezing by faster than I care for it to.   Looking back over 2012 and the beginning of my second year writing The Orange Bee blog I see that I’ve definitely had a theme for each month.  I’ll carry on with a theme in April and as far into the future as possible.  One of the elements in blogging is the challenge of what to write about or in the case of a food blog, what recipe to share.  I appreciate this part of blogging as I’m generally up for a challenge and always ready to try a new recipe.  I’ve designated April as the month of sweets.

Sweets are my downfall, my weakness, my preference, and I always have a taste for them.  They really don’t play into the healthy part of my eating habits now do they?  I’ve discovered that if I don’t have any homemade sweets available, Blue Bell Ice Cream being the exception, I am fine without a sweet bite after dinner.  I admit, I keep a small bowl of dark chocolate for an emergency fix!  However, if I have made some yummy little treat I’m sure and destined to eat it.  Shame on me.  I do counterbalance by working out regularly at the gym as well as teaching fitness classes twice a week.  On days when I don’t teach and don’t feel like the gym I make it a habit, this being a good one, to walk for at least 30 minutes on my road.  I also have very good habits about eating lots of fresh veggies and fruits, getting plenty of protein and cooking my foods in a healthy way.  Can you see I’m trying to justify my little issue of liking sweets more than I should?  Let’s just suffice it to say “all things in moderation” is my motto and anyway these  Caramelized Banana Puddings I made are in individual servings, meaning I only had one!  It was Easter and I didn’t eat any chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, Peeps or marshmallow eggs.

I saw these little delights in a recent issue of Southern Living.  A new twist to basic banana pudding, served in individual ramekins.  Not only do the caramelized bananas make them extra yummy but they look so cute too.  The distinct aroma of brown sugar and butter turning into gooey caramel mixed with the fresh bananas almost caused me to stop at step #1 and eat the bananas swirling around in that caramel glaze.  I pressed on and am so glad I did.  Layering the caramelized banana with the vanilla pudding makes for a lovely presentation, and I must say something about that meringue. I’m thrilled with  it’s height and ability to hold a peak!  (Remember to allow your egg whites to become room temp for the tallest meringue)

Traditional banana pudding is delightful but this may become my new “go to” recipe for banana pudding as the touch of cinnamon and caramel heightens the likability of this dessert.  They will certainly become a new tradition for my family on Easter Sunday.  How long till next Easter…….

 Caramelized Banana Pudding

1/2 cup firm packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 large, ripe bananas, sliced
1 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 cups milk
4 large eggs, separated
2 tsp. vanilla extract
48 vanilla wafers

Cook the first 3 ingredients in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Cook for 2-3 minutes or until bubbly.  Add bananas, cook another 2-3 minutes or until bananas are heated through.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk together 3/4 cup sugar, next 3 ingredients, and 4 egg yolks in a heavy sauce pan.  Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly for 8-10 minutes or until a pudding-like thickness.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Divide half of banana mixture, pudding and wafers among 8 one-cup ramekins or oven proof glass dishes.  Repeat layers ending with wafers.

Beat 4 egg whites at high-speed with an electric mixer unit foamy.  Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves.  Spread meringue over wafers.  Place ramekins on a baking sheet.

Bake at 325* for 15 to 20 minutes or until meringue is golden.  Let cool on a wire rack about 30 minutes.


About The Orange Bee

Food Blogger - Bee Keeper - Mom - Wife - Lover of Life
This entry was posted in Banana Pudding, Bananas, Fruit, Pudding, Sweets and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to April, A Sweet Month

  1. Pingback: 2012 – A Look Back | The Orange Bee

  2. Karen says:

    This takes regular banana pudding way over the top. This recipe will really wow anyone that tries it, I’m sure.

  3. Charles says:

    Bah to Rufus – how can someone not be a banana fan?! More bananas I say – I share your weakness for sweets… A favourite of mine I’ve rediscovered the awesomeness of recently is banoffee pie… omg it’s good :D. This looks like another banana dessert I’d love!

    • RIght – bananas are so easy to like. I’m not familiar with Banoffee pie….enlighten me! I like bananas any way I can think of.

      • Charles says:

        😮 Oh my… I thought everyone had heard of banoffee pie… You know, I just looked it up… I was convinced it was American, but turns out it’s English… heh, I never would have guessed!

        It’s a pie… pastry based, with a mixture of bananas and toffee baked inside, usually topped with cream… various variations thereof exist… it’s delicious 😀

      • Wow that sounds delicious. I’ll google it and maybe try making one.

  4. I’m not a banana fan, but this is one of Katherine’s favorites. She thought it was her mom’s special recipe because she didn’t grow up in the South, so when we moved here she was so tickled to see it on a menu. Everyone has their different take, very cool.

Make my day - leave me your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s