Monday, November 5, 2012

Camp Cooking #3: Grilled Banana Pudding

So, are you willing to be adventurous? Are you willing to think outside the pudding box? Are you crazy enough to put a banana on the grill?  Then this is the recipe you've been waiting for!! I've done Camp Pudding a number of time before (I'll give you the short version of that first) but wanted to try something different this last time.  But let's not get ahead of ourselves - first, Camp Pudding:
1 Box Pudding
2 Cups Milk

I prep for camp pudding at home first, by marking off a plastic container with cup marks.  I have so much fun with this dessert that I now have a jar dedicated just for this purpose.  Fill your jar to the 2 cup mark with milk, and bring it along with your drinks/food to camp.

Next up, add a box of instant pudding (you can do any flavor if you're just doing pudding for dessert, but I'm using vanilla for the grilled banana recipe).  You'll want to make sure that your jar holds at least 3 cups of liquid.  I made the mistake of thinking that 2 cups of milk + 1 box of pudding would only have the volume of, well, 2 cups of milk.  Wrong.  You need that extra space.  Trust me.

Then the fun part (sorry, no picture) - put the lid back on the jar and shake like crazy! If you have kids, this would be the perfect activity for them.  Once the pudding and milk are shaken, not stirred, shove the jar back into the cooler, under ice, and wait.  Yeah, that's the hardest part.

About 30 minutes later, you've got Camp Pudding! Dish it out into bowls and enjoy!  But now that you've mastered Camp Pudding, if you're willing to take just a few more steps, you can have Grilled Banana Pudding... How tempting does that sound?  

So, let's go back to the beginning and do this again.  Start with the ingredients:

2 cups cold milk
1 box Vanilla Pudding
1 or 2 Bananas
Vanilla Wafers
Cool-Whip topping
Spoons, tongs, knife, foil, and bowls

Start out by making your Camp Pudding (see above) but before you get to the 'dig in and enjoy' part, try this:

Prep your bananas for the grill.  I wasn't sure what would be best - 1. Whole banana, not peeled, wrapped in foil, and grilled. 2. Halved banana with skin still on, straight on the grill, or 3. Peeled banana, halved, straight on the grill.

So I tried all three variations.  I let the halved bananas get nice grill marks before I turned them over, and they came off after maybe 5 minutes total (I didn't want "Burned Banana Pudding") and the whole one wrapped in foil was turned at five minutes, and stayed on another 5.

I thought for sure, the halved and peeled bananas (#2 & #3) would be the winners - the grill marks looked amazing.  Grilling made them incredibly sweet.  Too sweet.  Almost caramelized and gooey.  The whole banana not-peeled and wrapped in foil (#1) was just perfect.  It still had a nice texture to it, just the right amount of altered sweet and nutty taste, and enough firmness that it could be cut for slices.

Now for the assembly.  You can layer things together anyway you like, but let me give you just a few more tips.  I didn't want to waste the #2 and #3 bananas I had grilled, so they got smashed and mixed in with some of the pudding - now it truly was "grilled banana" pudding.  Another dollop of the vanilla pudding was mixed in with the Cool-Whip topping (I didn't bring the entire bucket - just enough for this one dessert).  Add in your Nilla Wafers, and wow - this is one dessert that won't last long!
So, there you go - basic Camp Pudding, and Grilled Banana Pudding!  Enjoy!


  1. Banana pudding with nilla wafers - one of my alltime favorites. We'll give it a try one one of our trips. Still waiting for the snow to melt here in Michigan. When I looked at your map and saw Crockett it brought back a flood of memories. My grandparents were dairy farmers in Crockett. I spent the first ten summers of my life on that farm. Still have relatives in Palestine and Elkhart. A trip to the Collins Street Bakery in Corsicana is a must when we get back there. Thanks for the recipe and the memories.


    1. Yep, I love banana pudding - and this one was just to fun to pass up!

      And I absolutely agree on the Collins Street Bakery - every time I pass by there right off I45, I stop in and grab a loaf of their round pecan bread.... yum!!