Banana Pudding Squares

This is NOT a recipe blog post. 

Firstly, I don’t do those. I’m horrible with recipes (although I’m trying to get better at measuring stuff) and I usually forget to even follow them. 

Secondly, I don’t intend to answer any questions about the recipe itself. 

This is actually a story. It just happens to be a story that involves food so I will include the recipe in case you’re interested after hearing the story. 

Now that we’re on the same page, let’s get into it. 

My Nana loved to cook for people. It was her love language. She had recipes all over the house. Some of them were recipes she cut out of magazines or off of boxes and fully intended to try someday. Some of them were recipes she tried once and loved. Some were recipes she tried once and didn’t love. Some of them were recipes she made dozens of times for all sorts of people and situations. Some of them were recipes she only made for certain people because she knew they loved them. There were no indications that any particular recipe card fell into one category or another. Sure, there might be some you recognized if you’d been on the receiving end of this particular recipe, but they may have simply been for someone else. 

I inherited a lot of those recipe cards over Nana’s life and a few more after she passed. I cook all the time and regularly cook just like she did. Lately, as I mentioned in the intro, I’ve even been trying to get better at remembering which ones I’ve cooked, how I doctored them, and what I actually put in them. 

Earlier this week, in honor of Nana’s would-be birthday, I decided to try one of the recipe cards that I absolutely don’t recognize. It’s not one I ever remember her making. It’s possible this was a special treat for someone else. It’s also possible she once saw it somewhere and really wanted to try it. 

Either way, I’m giving it a go. 

Here’s a picture of the little index card (front and back) which she must have printed and mounted. The red markings are the results of my experiment. 

The first thing I had to do was doctor the crust amount because it didn’t fill the pan. So I doubled the ingredients for the crust and liked the way it covered the bottom much better. 

Then I decided to do 1 vanilla and 1 banana pudding, instead of 2 vanilla. That idea was born out of the idea that I really don’t like vanilla much. I almost went with chocolate but decided that would be too much of a move away from this recipe. I thought I was going to need 4 cups of milk (as the recipe calls for) but changed it back to 3 cups when I realized this was probably an attempt to make it thicker for the layer.

Then I decided to dice up the bananas instead of using huge chunks. I wanted it to be easier to serve. 

Lastly, I decided to mix in some raspberries with the bananas. The idea here was to give it a little pop of color, add the tartness of raspberries to balance out that heavy sweetness, and also use the raspberries I bought. 

Here’s the picture of the desert heading into the fridge to wait out its LONG 3 hour chill time. It looks and smells amazing. I have high hopes at this point although, to be honest, I have no idea how this is going to come out of the pan. I can’t imagine you’ll actually be able to pull up a single square like a brownie, since it’s mostly the consistency of pudding. We shall see. 

Alright, after letting them chill for a few hours, I was able to cut beautiful squares. This basically has the consistency of banana cream pie … but with an extra layer of that cream cheese and sugar mixture and fruit. It’s DELICIOUS. 

I still have NO IDEA if this was a recipe Nana made or just wanted to try. But I do know it’s going in my little recipe book as a favorite to make again. 

Happy Birthday, Nana.

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