Saturday, April 18, 2009

Layered Banana Cream Pie Dessert

Layered Banana Cream Pie Dessert

Layered Banana Cream Pie Dessert

This Layered Banana Cream Pie Dessert starts with a quick baked vanilla wafer and pecan crust {though walnuts would be amazing here too} that is pressed into the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Sliced bananas go over that, and then are topped with a bit of plain vanilla pudding, which sort of then seeps into the cracks and crevices between the bananas.

Cool Whip is gently blended into the remaining pudding and goes on top of the banana and pudding layer. Top it off with the remaining Cool Whip and let it set up in the fridge for several hours. Leave plain or top it off with some grated or shaved chocolate, or even just a simple sprinkle of some more of the chopped nuts.

The concept is from a Kraft recipe from Food and Family magazine, and while it's hard to beat Homemade Southern Banana Pudding or Banana Cream Pie, especially when they are homemade from scratch, but I gotta say, this dessert brings in the traditional flavors, is a breeze to throw together, and well, it's delicate, light and simply delicious on a hot summer day. All of the layering gives you a complex mixture of texture and flavors that just explodes in your mouth. If you love banana, you will absolutely love this. Substitute lemon pudding for the vanilla and omit the bananas for a lemon lush, garnished with lemon slices.

Here's how to make it.

I found that an offset spatula made an easy job of this.

Recipe: Layered Banana Cream Pie Dessert

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 20 min |Inactive time: 24 hours | Yield: About 12 servings

  • 1-1/2 cups of crushed vanilla wafers, about 45 wafers
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/3 cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • About 4 firm bananas, sliced
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 2 (4 serving size) packages of Jell-O instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 (12 ounce) container of non-dairy whipped topping (like Cool Whip), thawed in fridge
  • Optional Garnishes: Shaved or grated chocolate and/or additional chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Process the vanilla wafers in a food processor, or place into a zipper plastic bag and using a rolling pin, repeatedly roll over them until crushed well. In a small bowl, combine the crushed wafers, nuts and melted butter until wafers are thoroughly coated. Pour into a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and firmly press evenly into the bottom. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and set aside to cool at least 10 minutes.

Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together; add in the vanilla. Fold in 1/2 cup of the whipped topping and spread evenly over the cooled crust. Top with enough sliced bananas to cover. Put the pudding into a roomy bowl and whisk in the milk for about 2 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Remove 2 cups and layer that carefully on top of the bananas, reserving the remaining pudding.

Remove another 1/2 cup of the Cool Whip and gently fold that into the reserved pudding until blended. Carefully spread the Cool Whip and pudding mixture over the top of the pudding layer. Top with the remaining plain Cool Whip and spread evenly and carefully over the top, taking care not to disturb the underlayers.

Refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours; store leftovers in the fridge.

Lemon Lush: Omit the bananas and exchange the vanilla pudding for lemon flavor. Garnish with nuts and thin slices of lemon.


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on April 18, 2009

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