Mom and I have been making this recipe for almost 3 decades.
One time when I was making this pudding, I had come home from SMU for Easter. I opened the pudding box and dumped brown package out onto the counter. When the package fell out, so did a little piece of paper. I picked it up and read it…it said I was the FIRST PLACE winner in a secret Jell-O sweepstakes! My heart burst out of my chest and I started yipping, which scared mom.
She didn’t know what to think — I read the slip of paper to her and she joined in the yips. Dad was in the living room reclining in his chair listening to all of the commotion. I imagine he didn’t know whether he needed to call 911 or come into the kitchen and trap a mouse.
I was so busy yipping, I had forgotten to read what the first place prize was…so I started reading the fine print. The GRAND prize was listed first: $100,000 !!!!! My eyes blurred and I felt dizzy. If that’s the grand — first prize must be $50K, or $10K??? I utilized my speed reading training and flew through the fine print – landing on the first prize: $100. No, it wasn’t in the thousands but for a poor college student it was $100 more than I had before I started making the pudding…and I was thrilled! Every time I open a box of Jell-O pudding or gelatin, I remember that day…and give the box an extra shake and double glance…
Another time we made the banana pudding for a church potluck. When the potluck was over, mom went to collect her dishes but couldn’t find the pudding bowl. She walked into the church kitchen and found a man holding her bowl, scraping out every last bit of pudding with a spoon and licking it.
Have you ever had someone sneak off with the pudding you brought to the church potluck?? If not you are apparently using the wrong banana pudding recipe.
This banana pudding is on the top ten list of most liked family recipes. As I have been hinting – there are 2 special ingredients that make this recipe better than the best banana pudding you have ever tasted. But before I reveal those important items, let’s look at what’s not in this pudding:
1 – no overly ripe bananas
2 – no under ripe bananas
3 – NO instant banana-flavored pudding So what are the special ingredients??
((SOUR CREAM & SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK))
The added tang & creaminess from the sour cream and the richness from the sweetened condensed milk transform good banana pudding into GREAT banana pudding. What else could you expect from a pudding named “Mom’s Best”??
- 1 large container of Cool Whip, thawed ((NOT lite or fat free))
- 1 5.1 oz box of Jell-O instant vanilla pudding (the large size box)
- 1 1/2 c sour cream (I use light sour cream)
- 1 1/2 c milk (I usually use skim -- *not the full amount called for on package instructions)
- 1 14 oz can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk (low fat is perfectly fine)
- 1 11 oz box Nilla wafers
- 4-5 perfectly ripe bananas (no black or green allowed...sorry)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine pudding ingredients -( reserving about 1 c of Cool Whip to use as a topping). Whisk until it's completely incorporated.
- Arrange a single layer of Nilla wafers on the bottom of a large trifle bowl. Next add a layer of pudding, and top with a layer of sliced bananas. Repeat this process 2-3 times (until you have reached the top of the bowl.
- Top the pudding with reserved Cool Whip and a sprinkling of Nilla wafer crumbs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or over night.
- Serves 12-14
- *Another fun way to serve this recipe is in individual canning jars. Close it up with a lid and ring and it is ready for transport!