Florida has Key lime pies. Louisiana is famous for bananas foster and bread pudding. And Mississippi has its mud pies.
But what is the quintessential dessert of the Texas Gulf Coast? We asked on Facebook and the answers were overwhelmingly pecan pie and Blue Bell. Anything from La King’s Confectionery in Galveston’s downtown got some votes, too.
All are fine treats indeed, but we were intrigued by Dickinson farmer Jim Guidry’s suggestion that banana pudding was the dessert of the Texas Gulf Coast.
“Without a doubt — banana pudding,” Guidry said. “Quintessentially Southern, some think it originated in the banana port towns of Galveston or New Orleans.”
So we asked Mary Bass, executive sous chef at BLVD. Seafood in Galveston, to whip up a recipe for us. Enjoy.
Servings: 8 individual glasses or 1 trifle bowl
1 box of mini vanilla wafers
4 yellow (but not too ripe) bananas, sliced
1 batch of chantilly cream
(see recipe below)
1 batch of vanilla pudding
(see recipe below)
Divide the box of mini wafers and crush ¾ of the box either by hand or in a food processor.
Slice bananas on a bias and set aside.
Layer banana pudding in individual glass cups or trifle bowl, starting with crushed vanilla wafers, followed by pudding, bananas next and topped off with chantilly cream. Top with remaining un-crushed vanilla wafers and refrigerate until served.
Can be made up to half a day in advance.
1 quart heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup granulated sugar
Put cream, vanilla and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until soft peaks begin to form. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
½ cup sugar
Pinch of coarse salt
2 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, seeds reserved
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Prepare an ice bath; set aside. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl until smooth; whisk in cornstarch mixture.
Combine milk, remaining sugar, and vanilla-bean scrapings in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly pour milk into egg mixture, whisking constantly.
Return mixture to saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and transfer mixture to a medium heatproof bowl.
Whisk in butter and vanilla extract. Set bowl in ice bath, stirring occasionally, until chilled.