(image from newyork.seriouseats.com)
My first experience with Magnolia Bakery occurred a little over three years ago. I had just moved to New York for a spring internship and was told by so many people that Magnolia had the most amazing cupcakes and banana pudding. When my family came out to visit toward the end of June, I dragged them through the rain to this delightful bakery in Greenwich Village, reassuring them the whole way, "trust me, their banana pudding is to die for."
After oohing and aahing over all of the delectable treats while waiting in line, I'll never forget my dad's nervous, rambling order at the busy counter. It was like it was his last meal or something. Afraid to miss out on anything, we walked away with about a dozen and a half cupcakes of various flavors, two large cartons of banana pudding, a healthy slice of icebox pudding, and a sampling of Toffee Pecan Drop cookies. I think there may have been a helping of cheesecake thrown in there just for good measure. We were laughing the whole subway ride home at the amount of sugar we had just purchased, all to be consumed by about five people.
Well, I'm happy to say that, last night, my Dad went gaga over this banana pudding the same way he did over three years ago in our Times Square hotel room. Munching on my homemade version of the Magnolia recipe, he kept asking, "Is this low-fat? This is lite, right?" I kept lying to him yes, because I didn't want to ruin his experience. The truth is, this is not low-fat. If you ate it everyday, you would be fat. But sometimes, you just need to INDULGE!!!!!
From More From Magnolia by Allysa Torey
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1-1/2 cups ice cold water
1 (3.4 oz.) package instant vanilla pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand)3 cups heavy cream (equal to 1.5 pints)
1 (12 oz.) box Nabisco Nilla Wafers (no substitutions!)
4 cups sliced ripe bananas (this was about 6 bananas for me)
In a medium bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight, before continuing.
**It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set.**
In a large bowl, on the medium-high speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.
To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably glass) with a 4-5 quart capacity. Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if necessary. (There are about 90 wafers in a 12 oz. box of Nilla Wafers, so 30 should be about the right number. Top wafers with one-third of the bananas, then one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or bananas on the top layer of the pudding. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours or up to 8 hours, but no longer.
Serve and enjoy your delicious hearts out!