Uncle Bobby’s Banana Pudding Recipe
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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.
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.
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
Uncle Bobby’s Banana Pudding Recipe
Adapted from Hospitality Southern Style, by Carole Radford.
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 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
- In a double boiler, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt and baking powder.
- 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.
- 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.
- If desired top with whipped cream.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Yummy. I love nanners…
One of the greatest southern desserts of all time, and also a personal favorite. I’m looking forward to trying this version!
What a wonderful story. I love these kinds of stories. They make me teary and faklempt… or however you spell it : )
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!) 🙂
With all those cookies in there I couldn’t pass it up! What fun memories you have 🙂
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 🙂
Ah, this brings back memories. My mom made this dessert when I was a girl, and it was always one of our favorites.
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!
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?
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!
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?!?
What kind of milk did you use? If you used something other than whole milk that may account for it not thickening up. Hmmm…
Just made this and didnt have any trouble with the pudding and it tastes oh so good 🙂
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.
Had to comment – loved the story! Thanks for sharing – reminded me of my very dear, very much missed, grandma.
Thank you for sharing too, Robin. I miss my grandmothers too. xoxo
These look so cute in the individual serving cups! Love from scratch banana pudding!
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.
Hi, I just tried making this and the pudding came out gritty. I think it’s because of the egg whites? Most scratch pudding recipes I’ve tried only call for egg yolks.
Oh this was just great. I love anything that has meringue on it. I had always had the boxed pudding kind, but this really hits the spot. Thank you so much for the recipe.
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It costs a little less than $5 to make 12 servings worth of banana pudding yourself! I had been craving banana pudding for awhile and couldn’t justify driving out to Susie Cakes just for a $5 cup of their banana pudding.
I just made the recipe this afternoon for my family and want to assure others that this recipe can be made without a double boiler.
If the dry ingredients + liquid ingredients (including beaten eggs) are thoroughly whisked together and smooth (no lumpy chunks of sugar/flour etc) then you’re all set to go.
No Double Boiler Cooking Recommendation:
Used a regular 5qt pot
Medium sized whisk
My gas stove has varying heat zones, used the regular burner at a medium heat(3-med) like instructed in the original recipe (settings are 6-highest to 1-lowest).
From the beginning of turning on the burner to begin warming the mixture, I constantly am whisking the contents in the pot. Not an occasional stirring motion, but activity whisking. This helped keep the temperature of the mix even and prevent it from boiling and currdling. (E.G.-Chunky eggy hollandaise is no fun!)
Cooking time was about 10-15 minutes like the recipe indicated the pudding would cook for.
Things I learned to look for while cooking pudding:
If the pot is starting to get a low boil, continue whisking and lower temperature of flame just a bit (1 or 2 below medium). Helped ensure the pudding doesn’t cook too quickly and aid in the smooth thickening process.
For making this recipe the first time, I am forever thankful to the original poster for sharing. It’s a wonderfully easy recipe and is now loved by my own family.
Thank you for this recipe. All the other ones I’ve read were so unfamiliar with ingredients I KNEW was never in my Granny’s recipe. I hope I can make it like my memory recalls.
I too want to thank you for your Uncle Bobby’s Banana Pudding. I have been looking for a pudding recipe that does not 1) come out of a box; 2) have a bunch of non-food-like ingredients; and 3) more of what I grew up on.
This recipe is the closest I have come to what I know. Instead of topping with the whipped cream, I actually mix it into the pudding. This lightens the pudding and gives it a lighter and fluffier texture that I love. I make this for my great niece who loves it too. She is the only one in her house who eats banana pudding. . . .
The biggest tip I see was already posted – and that is you do not need a double boiler. I did have one, but my sister broke it. And it was the double boiler we grew up with! Family heirloom – Pyrex doesn’t make them this way in glass anymore!! – gone. Ah well.
So, I have made this 2 ways – in a heavy bottom stainless steel pan; and by putting a large glass measuring cup in my 4qt dutch oven fill with enough water to sort of mimic a double boiler – although the cup sat on the bottom of the pan, it work perfectly. Both ways work well. Just keep a good watch and whisk frequently.
It does take me closer to 20 – 25 minutes of cooking to reach the desired thickness I think it should be.