Banana pudding. How do those two words make you feel?
In my experience, this is one of those polarizing dishes; people either crave it and could (would) eat it by the gallon, or they think it’s a pile of mush that they want nothing to do with. Not a lot of indifference when it comes to banana pudding.
Oh, speaking of polarizing dishes, I forgot to share the results of our from earlier this summer. Turns out it was pretty close; here’s how you (more than 3,000 votes) feel about tuna noodle casserole:
-It’s nostalgic and magical and I want it right now: 54.9% -Hot tuna and peas and creamy stuff? Are you serious?: 45.1% -Joe Biden: 26%
Anyway, back to banana pudding. If it’s not really your thing, I think it’s about to be. (And if it is your thing, I can almost guarantee you’ve never had it decked out like this before). In the recipe below, Holly Haines fortifies her banana pudding with mascarpone (a good choice) and then gives a nod to her Filipino roots by topping it with crunchy fried turon (aka caramelized banana lumpia, aka Filipino fried banana egg rolls). This is a great choice. It totally mitigates the mushiness that turns people off to banana pudding and transforms an ordinary-ish dessert into something completely memorable. The secret to the turon is to toss a fistful of brown sugar into the oil before you fry them; the sugar caramelizes, coats the egg rolls, and gives them a beautiful, crackly brown crust (there are gorgeous pictures to prove it).
Also, in writing about this recipe, Holly imagines what it would be like to cook with her two grandmothers, neither of whom she actually knew. Whether or not you’re a banana pudding person, her thought experiment is undeniably cool.
This feels like a weekend cooking project to me. Tomorrow is the weekend. Just saying. See you Tuesday.
Says Holly, “I love the idea of adding crunch to an otherwise texturally soft dessert, so I’m topping this pudding with turon, a Filipino caramelized banana lumpia. Lumpia is like a Filipino egg roll. You know what an egg roll is.”
We produce reported pieces, profiles, interviews, and rants about what’s broken in the food world (there’s a lot) and how to change things for the better. People sometimes tell me to just keep politics out of it. Respectfully: No. Food is political. We can’t and won’t ignore that.