Friday, May 20, 2016

Picnic in the Park: Banana Pudding Jars


I hope everyone is enjoying the May weather.  We sure are!

Spring has sprung and it's been hot one day and cool the next.  We've also got some Grey May going on here in the mornings.  Not to worry, it burns off by afternoon and then the sun is shining and everyone is outdoors enjoying the cool weather until our scorching summer comes along.

Today we are continuing with our Picnic in the Park theme.  I love picnics don't you?  It's such a great way to enjoy nature, family, and friends....oh and let's not forget the food.  The other day I showed you how to make a great Mediterranean Chicken wrap with some delicious grilled chicken.

Today we are talking desserts.  Oh yea!

Now I always find it hard to take along a good dessert to a picnic or concert in the park.  Since I gravitate toward ice cream, that would end up in a melted mess, so that's out.  So I develop my desserts around the container...mason jars! MASON JARS are the perfect solution for so many toteable things.  Things like salads both green and pasta salads are perfect in jars.  How about drinks? Another winner, and there's no spillage with the lid on!  So of course desserts are also perfect in jars.

Mason jars are hearty, and roomy.  I've even baked the dessert in them, like with my Peach Raspberry Crisps.  I've also used them for my Take Along Smore's.

Today I'm thinking "southern" dessert, and Banana Pudding in mason jars is calling me.  Listen carefully...hear that?  It's calling you too. Seriously, you need to make these sweet little desserts and take them somewhere!  now!  Kids love that wonderful flavor and the vanilla wafers that turn into cakey goodness...HEAVEN!  

This is something that the whole family will enjoy!

Banana Pudding Jars

Servings: 6

For the Pudding:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
6 egg yolks
3-1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For Assembling:
3 medium bananas, ripe, and sliced
1 box Vanilla Wafers
6 Pint size Mason Jars

In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, salt and yolks. Whisk in the milk and bring to simmer, stirring frequently, over medium heat 5-8 minutes. When the mixture starts to bubble, turn the heat down to low and continue cooking, whisking constantly, for 1-2 minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately whisk in the butter and vanilla.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper directly on the pudding to prevent a film from forming. Chill in the refrigerator until cool about 2 hours.

To assemble, place one vanilla wafer in the bottom of each mason jar.  This will create a cake layer on the bottom. Spoon a large dollop of pudding on top. Add a layer of vanilla wafers standing up against the sides of the glasses around the circumference of the jar. Layer on some sliced bananas on top of the pudding. Add another layer of pudding and bananas.  Top with crushed vanilla wafers if desired.  Top jars with the lid to securely close.  Place in the refrigerator for another hour.  You may top them with whipped topping or whipped cream before eating if desired.  

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