The first signs of rhubarb showed up this weekend and while I am very excited about it (and all the incredible desserts that are to come) I can't get this sesame banana pudding out of my head.
I made this pudding last weekend when it was rainy and gloomy and both Tyler and I couldn't get enough of it. Homemade sesame wafers get tucked between layers of banana pudding and sliced bananas. The whole thing is topped with a toasted meringue that makes the entire dessert feel incredibly fancy. It's definitely a dessert that makes and entrance and one that I think everyone will love.
Sesame Banana Pudding
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
The original recipe said it serves 8. I made a half batch and after seeing how much it made, I think a full batch can serve anywhere from 12-14 people (unless you want to eat a tub of banana pudding).
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup toasted sesame seeds
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1½ tablespoons light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pudding And Assembly
7 ripe bananas, divided
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
4 large eggs, separated
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Sesame Wafers: Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 375°. Whisk flour, sesame seeds, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and both sugars in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg, egg yolk, oil, and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and mix in dry ingredients. Cover dough and chill until cold, about 30 minutes.
Drop dough by the tablespoonful onto 2 parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets, spacing 1" apart. Bake wafers, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until brown around the edges, 13–16 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets.
Pudding and Assembly: Rub 3 bananas with oil. Roast (oven should still be at 375°) on a parchment-lined baking sheet until skins are dark brown and flesh is popping out, 25–35 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, bring milk, butter, and ¼ cup sugar to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, vanilla, ¼ cup sugar, and 1 tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Adding ¼ cupful at a time, whisk in one-third of hot cream mixture, then whisk egg mixture into remaining cream mixture in saucepan. Cook pudding, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Scrape into a large bowl set over an ice bath; let cool.
Slice remaining 4 bananas ¼" thick. Ladle one-third of pudding into a 9½" deep pie dish or 8x8" glass baking dish. Layer half of wafers over pudding; top with half of bananas. Repeat, layering with half of remaining pudding and wafers and all of bananas. Finish with a layer of remaining pudding, then wafers.
Meanwhile, using electric mixer with clean beaters, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and a large pinch of salt in a large bowl on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Increase speed to high, gradually add remaining ½ cup sugar; beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 1 minute. Working in 3 batches and beating well after each, add powdered sugar. Beat until meringue is very stiff, dense, and glossy.
Let pudding cool slightly, then decoratively spread meringue over top. Toast with a kitchen torch, if desired.
Do Ahead: Dessert (without meringue) can be assembled 6 hours ahead; chill.