How did I ever forget to post this recipe? This used to be one of our favorite desserts after a friend had made it for a get together. I made it often, then for whatever reason it got tucked away and it's been years since we've had it. I love recipes that also have memories attached to them. Don't you?
Last weekend for Fathers Day I pulled it out and made it again. It was hit with only one piece left. The original recipe calls for packaged pudding but I thought I'd try making my own. Over the last several years we have been on a journey of healthier eating, using less processed foods, or at least those foods being organic or as good as possible. This recipe calls for a few things that I'd typically avoid but wasn't sure about what to substitute and didn't really want to experiment. However, I was willing to try the pudding. I had a boxed mix on hand, and I know you can find organic instant pudding, but not in my small town in the two stores we have. The other item is cool whip and I just wasn't sure about this...maybe whipped cream beaten to stiff peaks would have worked, but again, I didn't want to mess with experimenting.
This is a great dessert that is so good, especially during the summer months. I love dishes that are simple, yet pack great flavor and can be casual or elegant. I'm sure you could experiment with flavors as well. So add it to your list and try it out! Come back and let me know what you think.
1 3/4 c. graham cracker crumbs (about 28 squares)
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1 carton (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
3-4 medium bananas, sliced
1 3/4 c. cold milk
1 pkg. (3.4oz) instant pudding, (banana or vanilla...I use vanilla)
1. In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in butter. Set aside 1/2 c. for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9" springform pan or 9" square baking pan. Bake at 350 for 5-7 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in 2 c. of whipped topping. Arrange half of the banana slices on crust; top with half the cream cheese mixture. Repeat layers.
3. In a bowl, beat milk and pudding mix until smooth. Fold in remaining whipped topping. Pour over final cream cheese layer and sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until set.
It's guaranteed to be a hit!
If you make your own pudding, it may not set quite as well as the store bought kind. I may need to tweak this a bit or let it set longer. Or, possibly it was the combination with the cool whip, which I may just leave out next time. It still tasted very, very good!
With Joy UNquenchable,