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SOUTH-OF-THE-BORDER BANANA PUDDING

Updated: October 6, 2012 6:03AM



MAKES 8 SERVINGS

3 ripe bananas (or 6 small red bananas), frozen

3½ cups half-and-half

½ cup heavy cream

1 vanilla bean

¾ cup Agave nectar

4 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 vanilla bean

Peel bananas, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for at least 2 days.

Two (or more) days later: In a heavy saucepan, combine half-and-half, heavy cream and frozen bananas. Cut the vanilla bean down the center lengthwise, and drop both vanilla bean halves into the dairy mixture. Put on low heat, stirring occasionally. Your goal is to permeate the dairy mixture with the banana and vanilla so let mixture get very warm, but don’t let it simmer or boil. While the dairy mixture is warming, in a separate bowl of a mixer, use the mixer to combine Agave nectar, egg yolks and cornstarch until thoroughly combined.

Return your attention to the dairy mixture, and when steam is coming off, remove the vanilla pods and use the back of a fork or spoon to get all of the beans out (dropping them back into the dairy). Remove the vanilla pods and toss (or chew because they taste great).

Slowly pour a cup of the warm dairy mixture into the egg-nectar mixture, while the mixer is still beating. When thoroughly combined, pour the mixture back into the dairy mixture in the heavy saucepan. Turn the heat up to medium and stir continuously until all is combined and the mixture coats the back of the spoon (about 5 minutes).

And then pour all of the mixture into a blender or food processor or use an immersion blender. Once blended thoroughly, pour mixture into ceramic dish and let cool (45 to 60 minutes). Once pudding is sufficiently cooled, lay plastic wrap over pudding (so it touches the pudding) and refrigerate until firm (about 3 hours). Lou Bank



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