Uncle Bobby’s Banana Pudding Recipe

This classic homemade banana pudding recipe from my great Uncle Bobby is a family favorite and will quickly become a favorite with your family too.

Homemade Banana Pudding Recipe

Her name was Mattie Maude McCurry, but I called her Nannie. Twelve others called her mama, seven girls and five boys. She was my great-grandmother, a hardworking woman from Georgia who knew her way around a kitchen and a farm. She was cooking “local” before it was hip.

Among other things, she grew her own vegetables, milked cows, and raised chickens both for the eggs and meat. Much of Nannie’s skills she learned from her parents, Ma and Pa, who grew and raised what they ate too, including smoking and curing their own meats. There were few cookbooks and no food blogs. What was learned was gleaned by watching and doing out of necessity.

The large white submarine-shaped oil tank in Nannie’s yard provided a safe perch for me to watch as she wrung a chicken’s neck, which then blindly ran about the yard. I remembering wondering “Who in the heck is gonna catch that thing now?” Only to soon realize that no catching was necessary.

In Nannie’s kitchen food was simple and regularly prepared from earth to table, resulting in a magnificent spread each time. Nothing fancy. Just darn good. The goodness she cooked up in her large iron skillets would rival any of today’s great chefs.

She taught her twelve how to cook too. Many of the men, my great uncles, becoming masters in the kitchen themselves. There is Uncle Pierce and his prized BBQ. Sakes alive, that man can cook some pork. When he was younger, Uncle Don cooked up goodness at The Seaside Grill, a restaurant on Folly Beach operated by my grandparents. Later Don hosted many reunions and cookouts for which he prepared BBQ, seafood or other tasty fixings. Then there’s Uncle Allen, otherwise known as “Brother” who also cooked up a storm. Zucchini bread was one of his specialties. And we can’t forget Uncle Bobby with his homemade banana pudding (which I’m sharing with you today), made fresh from bananas that grew right in his Floridian yard.

And those are just the men folk. Don’t even get me started with what the women had up their sleeves.

I have to think that each time her children were in the kitchen, the memories of Nannie in the kitchen swirled in the back of their minds. What a legacy to inherit. Food, sustenance made with care, and love, and time–something I think we take for granted with our fast-paced, well-stocked grocery store lives, with prepared foods and drive-thrus on every corner. My Nannie was one skilled woman, and lovingly passed those skills along.

These days we try to pass along as much as we can to our two children, but life is much easier these days, and busy schedules push these seemingly unimportant skills to the back burner more often than I care to admit. We squeeze in a bit here and there, hoping something will stick and our children will be able to thrive in their own kitchens one day.

It does help that many of our family recipes have been recorded. My Aunt Carole has compiled two cookbooks that feature many of those recipes. I found Uncle Bobby’s Banana Pudding recipe in one of them while hunting for something else. Distracted by vanilla wafers, I lost track of what I was looking for and happily settled on this instead: Uncle Bobby’s Banana Pudding.

Our teenage daughter (15 years old at the time) got wind of what was being made and pretty much took charge, working through the recipe herself. I was happy to step aside and record her makings. I assisted when needed, but she’s learned to follow directions and does pretty well in the kitchen for her age.

Homemade Banana Pudding Recipe Homemade Banana Pudding Recipe

We discovered mini vanilla wafers and decided on individual servings. Please note, these dessert dishes are huge servings, really double servings–having-dessert-for-dinner kind of servings.

Things came together quite nicely. What a fantastic job by a young chef in the making. This banana pudding was a tasty success for sure!

A big thanks to Uncle Bobby, and more importantly to Nannie, and all of the other Nannies out there who take the time to create and share such a rich and delicious heritage.

Uncle Bobby’s Banana Pudding Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Adapted from Hospitality Southern Style, by Carole Radford.
Author:
Serves: Makes about 12 servings.
Ingredients
For pudding:
  • 1½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 6-8 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1 12 oz. box of vanilla wafers
For whipped topping (optional):
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. In a double boiler, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt and baking powder.
  2. Mix in the milk, beaten eggs, and vanilla. Combine well and cook, stirring occasionally over medium-high heat until thick, about 10-15 minutes. Let pudding cool.
  3. In a casserole dish, or individual dessert dishes, starting with wafers on the bottom, repeat layers of wafers, bananas and pudding until all ingredients are used.
  4. If desired top with whipped cream.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Originally published July 10, 2011. Updated May 17, 2015.

Comments

  1. 2

    SMITH BITES says

    there’s nothing like a great banana pudding . . . simple, yet heavenly! good job daughter!!

  2. 3

    says

    What a lovely story and how wonderful to have 2 cookbooks of compiladed family recipes! What a treasure! The pudding (thank you for making it from scratch and not using a box as we see in many recipes for banana pudding) must be stupendous.

  3. 5

    Chris says

    I loved reading this. 12 kids…can’t imagine! But, such wonderful family memories. And a lovely lookin’ puddin’! :)

  4. 7

    says

    I so enjoyed reading about your Southern family’s history–very much like my own. I agree-the local food movement was a way of life in the South looooonnnng before it was hip 😉

  5. 9

    says

    We had banana pudding for the first time this past year… yum!

    I love hearing about the family history- so amazing

  6. 14

    Jeanette says

    I love the idea of a family cookbook, and passing along the gift of cooking through the generations – what a treasure!

  7. 15

    Marly says

    I do think these family recipes passed down through the ages are the best. What a great heritage you are passing down to your daughter. Oh, and this dessert looks scrumptious!!

  8. 16

    Lauren at Keep It Sweet says

    These look delicious and I love that you made individual servings!

  9. 20

    Gloria says

    Spent a week at Folly Beach last month, it was great! Can’t wait to try the banana pudding, one of my husband’s favorite desserts!

  10. 22

    NanaBread says

    One of the greatest southern desserts of all time, and also a personal favorite. I’m looking forward to trying this version!

  11. 23

    Georgia Pellegrini says

    What a wonderful story. I love these kinds of stories. They make me teary and faklempt… or however you spell it : )

  12. 24

    Donna says

    you know…we have a sayin’ here in the south……”once you’ve had SCRATCH….you never go back”! :)
    my mother grew up in a family of 9….they either raised it or didn’t have it so cooking with “love” from the
    garden was a necessity. i LOVE reading stories about other families like that of which my mother and her
    siblings grew up in. and don’t even get me started on the “family reunions” that brought forth such a bounty
    of wonderful food that as an adult, i still crave. good thing for me, i was taught at an early age how to cook the
    same way….one of the reasons i had to have gastric bypass! lol! (i just LOVE food!) :)

  13. 26

    says

    What a great story. So fantastic that you have such history surrounded by food in your family. The pudding looks delicious! It’s been far too long since I had banana pudding :)

  14. 27

    says

    Ah, this brings back memories. My mom made this dessert when I was a girl, and it was always one of our favorites.

  15. 28

    says

    The best family recipes are the ones that both parents and kids can love equally. This banana pudding sounds and looks mouthwatering. We need to pick up some vanilla wafers STAT to give this a try. Thanks so much for sharing!

  16. 29

    Joanne says

    I tried the recipe but the pudding mixture never thickener despite keeping it on the double boiler a little longer than instructed. Any help please?

    • 30

      says

      Hey Joanne,

      So sorry you had trouble. Pudding not thickening up can be a pain. Try adding a tad of flour or cornstarch at a time — just a tad — until it thickens up. Hope that helps. It certainly is a tasty dessert to miss out on!

  17. 31

    Martha says

    Anyone else have trouble getting the pudding to thicken? I have tried this recipe twice now and couldn’t get the pudding to thicken either time! The second time I kept I on the double boiler for over half an hour! What’s wrong?!?

    • 32

      says

      What kind of milk did you use? If you used something other than whole milk that may account for it not thickening up. Hmmm…

  18. 33

    ashleigh says

    Just made this and didnt have any trouble with the pudding and it tastes oh so good :)

    • 34

      says

      So glad to hear it, Ashleigh! It’s such a special dessert for our family, and boy, does it disappear quickly. Hope you enjoyed it.

  19. 35

    Robin C says

    Had to comment – loved the story! Thanks for sharing – reminded me of my very dear, very much missed, grandma.
    Robin

  20. 38

    Nancy @ I Made This Dish says

    Hi Amy, this is a lovely story and the recipe is mouthwatering. I love the simplicity of it. Usually the most simple things are the best choices for busy families. Will make these during our next family gathering.

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