Gingery Banana Pudding With Bourbon Cream

• 1/2 cup sugar
• 5 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 4 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
• 2 large egg yolks
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 4 ripe bananas, divided
• 12 gingersnaps, crumbled and divided
• 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
• 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
• 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger

Combine first 3 ingredients in a saucepan. Gradually whisk in 3 cups milk. Heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil).
Combine remaining 1 cup milk and yolks; stir with a whisk. Gradually add 1 cup hot milk mixture to yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Add egg yolk mixture to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Place pan in a large-ice-filled bowl for 20 minutes or until mixture cools, stirring occasionally. Cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours or until chilled. Mash 2 bananas; cut remaining 2 bananas into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Stir mashed and sliced bananas and half of gingersnaps into pudding; chill 30 minutes.
Combine cream and 1 teaspoon sugar in a medium bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form; stir in bourbon, if desired.
Spoon 2/3 cup pudding into each of 8 dessert glasses; divide remaining gingersnaps among servings. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons whipped cream, 1 1/2 teaspoons pecans, and 3/4 teaspoon ginger.

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