Old Fashioned Vanilla Pudding: Comfort Food for Trying Days

The move into my brother’s new apartment has taken a few days, it turns out, and Sunday afternoon was one part of the process.

After we’d finished unloading the first wave of boxes he’d packed in his car, Adam stepped out to grab more, while I organized his DVD collection into alphabetical order, reaching behind where the TV stand goes, onto the white built-in bookshelves next to the  electric fireplace.

A serving glass full of banana pudding | Foodal

He came back, tense, still holding the plastic dish rack we’d decided he’d give me, and he told me his car had been towed.

The next 45 minutes or so, I spent alone with boxes and white walls, figuring out how the Brita water pitcher works, folding towels to put in the closet and looking at my silent cell phone, wishing someone would call me.

Once those matters were sufficiently taken care of, there was really nothing left to do but sit down in Adam’s soft leather chair, which is a beautiful shade of butterscotch caramel, watching the softly falling snow that would later turn this area into a winter wonderland, in April.

A rectangular glass baking dish full of banana pudding | Foodal

Sitting there, I was reminded of all those things that lurk at the back of your mind, quiet, waiting for you to slow down long enough to listen.

Things like home buying, and what do I want, should I buy, where should I buy, when should I buy, is now the right time; the movie Marley & Me, which I’d watched at my friend Jackie’s place the night before, crying through the entire last 20 minutes; the future and all of its unknowns, from work to living arrangements to relationships.

And then, largely, the fact that a few hours in my soft, fluffy down comforter would be about as close to perfect as things could get right now.

Anyway, by the time Adam called to say he was waiting outside, I’d settled on simpler concerns. Like how good some hot banana pudding would be later that night.

Top down view of a container of banana pudding | Foodal

This pudding comes from Honey & Jam, a gorgeous food blog that I found recently, written by 18-year-old Hannah. It combines vanilla wafers with sliced bananas and a homemade vanilla pudding to make a soft, creamy dessert as sweet as childhood.

Most folks like to chill the pudding before serving, and by all means try that. I, however, am a strict fan of hot pudding, and I have to ask that you try it that way, too.

After you’ve spent time moving boxes, just seen your brother’s car towed and sat for a few hours in a chair, thinking about big things, you’ll be incredibly relieved to come home and eat spoonfuls of this simplicity, even if it’s accompanied by a frozen pizza, while you watch the blizzard outside.

The Recipe

A serving glass full of banana pudding | Foodal
Old-Fashioned Vanilla Pudding
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A serving glass full of banana pudding | Foodal
Old-Fashioned Vanilla Pudding
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
  • 2 cups vanilla wafers (I used mini ones)
  • 3 bananas cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk, divided
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Line the bottom of a 9-inch square pan (or a pie pan, which is what Hannah used) with one layer of vanilla wafers and one layer of banana slices.
  3. To make the pudding, combine sugar with flour in a medium saucepan. Mix well, then stir in half the milk. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and then whisk them into the sugar mixture. Add the remaining milk and butter.
  4. Place mixture over low heat and cook until thickened, stirring frequently. Then remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour half of this over the wafers/bananas in the pan pan, while it's still hot.
  5. On top of the pudding, add a layer of vanilla wafers and then a final layer of banana slices. Pour the rest of the pudding mixture on top.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Optional: Chill before serving.
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About Shanna Mallon

Shanna holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography, and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.

13 thoughts on “Old Fashioned Vanilla Pudding: Comfort Food for Trying Days

  1. Ah moving, it’s proven to be a traumatic experience for me. I don’t know why I chose a 3rd floor condo without an elevator. But I did.

    But this pudding sounds delightful!

  2. moving suuuucks. you are such a good sister to help your brother move! and what a treat to have at the end of the day. sometimes, a homemade dessert to pair with a frozen pizza is exactly the right balance.

    i know it was probably cold for you this weekend, but what a lovely way to end the day, watching the blizzard swirl outside while you’re home esconsed in pjs, eatting hot pudding.

  3. Looks and sounds really good. I love the looks of all your recipes. Now I just need to try some of them. Hey, you said that you were waiting for someone to call………………..you should have called me:(

  4. That pudding looks so comforting. I can’t believe it snowed, I didn’t even see any in Boston. I wish life could be as simple as pudding and a comforter…

  5. MC – Your building sounds a lot like his! Thankfully I didn’t do any of the heavy lifting because that would’ve been hard work!

    Rae – Yeah, the joys of living in Chicago.

    Lainey – Crazy, right? It’s mostly melted now, and I’m ready to be fully optimistic again, promising everyone it won’t happen again. Fingers crossed!

    Thanks, Sara – And hot is SO good and comforting.

    Lan – It was fun mostly (I mean, besides the towing) and he’s a good brother. I still can’t believe the snow either, but I’m glad it seems to be gone!

    Hannah – Thanks again for posting the recipe!

    Shell – Hey, thanks! I know, I should have called you, but it was Sunday night and I thought you’d be eating dinner and wasn’t sure what your schedule was. Thanks for stopping by here!

    Hayley – Right? Hot is so good. And thank you!

  6. Susan – You left your comment right when I was leaving that last one! I wish life were that simple, too. So much.

  7. Mmmmm, that sounds wonderful. It’s actually quite chilly here right now. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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