Sometimes I walk into my kitchen and just stand there.

How much of a mess do I feel like making?

If I have to contemplate my cleaning procedures, then I usually remind myself that sometimes simple is best. However you choose to plate it…

Bring on banana pudding. Stovetop custards and puddings are practically instant gratification.

Throw your milk, sugar, and vanilla in a pot. Separate your egg yolks in a bowl with a little starch. Heat, temper, and cook until thick. DONE. Now you’re left with spoonfuls of pure comfort.

When I used to work at the restaurant, sometimes I would amaze myself at how quickly I could make things happen.

Oh, we now have 10 more people added on to this set menu? That starts in 1 hour? Two of them are allergic to eggs?

You need a cake for tonight?

You’re taking how many portions to the off-site event?!

We’re out of petit fours again?

At least I knew that when I looked at my prep list and saw ‘chocolate pastry cream’ on it, I could make it happen in about 7 minutes.

Like any custard, stovetop custards need to be cooked on a low heat for the silkiest texture. But they are incredibly easy to put together and start cooking. Try this basic recipe and you’ll be a pro too.

How to Make this High Altitude Recipe:

Banana Pudding with Grated Piloncillo Sugar

1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated piloncillo sugar (or brown sugar)
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon dark rum

2 ripe bananas
freshly whipped cream

In a saucepan over medium heat heat the milk, 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, piloncillo sugar, and vanilla bean. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, egg yolks, and cornstarch.

When the milk reaches a simmer, slowly temper it into the egg yolk mixture. Return to the saucepan and cook, whisking constantly, until the custard starts to thicken. Turn the heat down to low and continue whisking until the custard continues thickening and just starts to bubble. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and rum until smooth. Pour through a strainer to remove any bits of egg. Serve warm or place in the refrigerator to cool.

Layer the pudding with sliced bananas and top with the whipped cream.

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