My dad absolutely loves banana desserts. I can guarantee any time we go to a restaurant that serves a banana dessert, he will order it. Whether it is the banana cream cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory or a banana split from Sonic, he is going to order it.
So, in honor of my father, a banana lover, I have re-created my mom's miniature banana pudding pies (which she made for his birthday last year). They're creamy, sweet and comforting. In the words of my roommates, "These are fantastic." It's a simple recipe, but it's sweet and absolutely delicious.
First, make the vanilla pudding. You can make your own or serve box mix. Either way, the pies still taste the same. My mom uses vanilla pudding instead of banana pudding because you don't want the natural banana flavors from the actual slices of banana to be overshadowed or muted; vanilla pudding enhances the banana.
Once your vanilla pudding is done, let it cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, assemble your banana pudding pies.
In four ramekin dishes, place Nilla wafers on the bottom and the sides. I used clear ten-ounce ramekins because you can see the layers of banana, Nilla wafers and pudding. Once the entire bottom and sides are covered with Nilla wafers, pour a layer of vanilla pudding into each dish. Save enough pudding to make two layers in each ramekin.
Place a layer of banana slices on top of the vanilla pudding, then top with the rest of the vanilla pudding. Now for the finishing touch: Cover the top of each ramekin with miniature marshmallows. Broil the pies in the oven until the marshmallows are golden and slightly toasted.
If banana pudding pies don't have marshmallows, they're not true banana pudding pies in my book.
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After the marshmallows are toasted, you can let the pies cool to room temperature, or dig in once they are out of the oven. I love getting a spoonful of a Nilla wafer, banana slice, vanilla pudding and a little bit of gooey marshmallows; it's the perfect bite.
So, for my dad and all banana lovers out there, here is an easy dessert you can put together to celebrate this special food holiday, just for you.