As you may remember I have a special affinity for Banana Pudding. And this past weekend at a friend’s Annual 3rd of July/Tom Cruise’s Birthday party I had a life-altering experience. A party-goer showed up with an alcoholic banana pudding. Let that sink in. It’s banana pudding and it’s alcoholic. It’s like two of my favorite things. And, I tasted it and it was pretty good. It wasn’t as sweet as traditional banana pudding and she used an instant pudding mix instead of making a custard. In addition, there was no whipped topping or meringue on the top. I feel there’s room for massive improvement that could bump this up to king of desserts…sorry chocolate but once I master this recipe, it looks like it might be game over for you. This could bump you down a rung or two on the hierarchy of sweets ladder.
Here’s my plan:
Our brilliant, dessert-delivering party-goer used vodka. She soaked the bananas overnight in vodka, sugar and vanilla extract. Now, I have nothing against vodka. I love vodka. But, at the risk of pissing off Russia, it’s not my favorite liquor and it’s certainly not the sweetest of liquors. And when I think “vodka” I don’t immediately think “banana.” So, I’m considering substituting a sweeter liquor. Maybe brandy or even a spiced rum. And instead of vanilla extract, I’m wondering if heating the liquor with some fresh vanilla bean before soaking the bananas will help infuse even more flavor. But that could be a delicate balancing act – heat too much and cook off the alcohol and what’s the fun of eating an alcoholic dessert without the alcohol? It would just need to be heated enough to infuse some vanilla flavor.
Secondly, this inspirational goddess of desserts made a boxed pudding instead of a custard from scratch. Now making a custard is pretty easy and I’m thinking a custard from scratch gives me a great opportunity to up the sweetness factor if the bananas soaked in liquor end up a little tart from the alcohol.
AND… my new best friend-that-I-didn’t-even-get-the-name-of-but-will-remember-her-every-night-in-my-prayers-for-the-rest-of-my-life-and-perhaps-dedicate-my-first-cookbook-to said she soaked the cookies in vodka too. Now, We should note that the cookies weren’t nearly as soggy as one might expect a vodka-soaked vanilla wafer to be so I’m wondering if by “soaked in vodka” she means “quickly dunked in vodka” or “spritzed with vodka” because while I like my cookies a bit soggy, there is such thing as too soggy. I’m thinking a little spritz of my alcoholic beverage of choice on the cookie might be a nice touch to keep the cookie from being a soggy mess.
Finally, there was no whipped topping or meringue on top of the dessert. I personally am a fan of meringue over whipped cream but I do know you can fold liquor into whipped cream and I’m tempted to try it with a meringue. It could end in disaster, I know that but I feel any egg whites I ruin would be probably be proud to say they were sacrificed in the effort to perfect alcoholic banana pudding.
So, I have a game plan. I don’t have a timeframe for this dessert but rest assured that I will start work on it soon. Current travel plans may get in the way but I will not fail at my mission. I will soon deliver you the ultimate king of desserts – the perfected alcoholic banana pudding.