Baked Sunday Mornings: Banana Caramel Pudding with Meringue Topping

I have eaten a lot of banana pudding in my time, but I've never had the dessert with caramel pudding or meringue. So I was excited to try Matt and Renato's recipe for Banana Caramel Pudding with Meringue Topping from Baked Elements.

This is an easy recipe, but it requires a bit of time. For the pudding, you start out by making caramel (sugar, water, cream), and then you incorporate the caramel base into a custard (half and half, cornstarch, salt, eggs, egg yolks, butter, vanilla). I put the hot custard through a sieve and chilled it in the refrigerator overnight.

The following day, I assembled the puddings: alternating layers of pudding, sliced bananas, and crushed Nilla Wafers. Then you spoon on a meringue made from egg whites whipped with cream of tartar and sugar, and you put the puddings in the oven until the meringue is golden brown.
I chilled the finished puddings for about four hours before serving, because the recipe says that they taste best when thoroughly chilled. While the cookbook includes a warning that the cookies will soften as time goes on, I was disappointed that the cookies were completely soggy by the time we ate the pudding. I probably contributed to the problem by crushing the cookies into very small pieces before layering them in the pudding; perhaps if I had left the cookies in larger chunks, they would have held up better.

The meringue was pretty but didn't add much to the pudding in terms of taste or texture -- and it was soft and not crunchy at all. The pudding itself was delicious. While the pudding was an unappetizing beige color, the light caramel/butterscotch flavor was a lovely change of pace from plain vanilla. We definitely enjoyed these puddings, but because of the soggy cookie problem, I didn't love them.

I had some leftover pudding, and eating it with crunchy, whole Nilla Wafers was heavenly. I would make the pudding again, but I would skip the meringue and just layer the pudding with the cookies and bananas right before serving. When it comes to banana pudding, I'm not sure if this version is as tasty as David Guas' Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafer Crumble, but it is really good stuff!

Recipe: "Banana Caramel Pudding with Meringue Topping" from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Elements, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

Previous Post: "DamGood Indeed: Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafer Crumble," February 23, 2012.


Candy said…
I love the beautiful meringue on your pudding! Looks like a jaunty hat!
Susan said…
Yours looks just perfect! We skipped the meringue but didn't miss it.
Anonymous said…
Gorgeous meringue and layering! Yeah, these are sort of a last-minute thing, given that the cookies get soggy and the meringue starts weeping fairly quickly. Still, I'm glad you liked them-- nice job! :)
Anonymous said…
I agree with the meringue and the cookies- both were quite soft. I still enjoyed it though. Yours looks so cute.