Banana Custard Pudding Dessert – The best Banana Custard Pudding recipe

Banana Custard Pudding

Bananas have always been a favorite fruit to use in puddings. This recipe allows you to get the delicious taste of bananas in a custard consistency.

Ingredients:

  • 100g (3.5 oz) of Sugar
  • 1 tsp of Cornstarch
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 350ml (12 fl oz) of Milk
  • 3 Egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 firm medium banana, sliced
  • fresh mint (optional)

Domaći puding od banane sa vanilom - Lepa&Srećna

Procedure:

  1. Combine the sugar, salt, and cornstarch in a saucepan.
  2. Add milk gradually. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the mixture is boiling.
  3. Stir while cooking an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Take a small portion of this mixture and stir it into the egg yolks. Then return all of that to the pan.
  5. Continue cooking and stirring until desired thickness is reached.
  6. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla.
  7. Chill this for 1 hour.
  8. When ready to serve, fold in the banana slices and garnish with mint, if you desire.

Apple Banana Custard |

Apple Banana custard is perfect for all kids who are fussy, either with drinking milk or eating fruits or both. They will for sure enjoy it. Apple and banana, both are very healthy fruits, however, you can substitute it with your choice of fruit.

Apple Banana Custard

Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Serves: 6

Apple Banana Custard Ingredients

Apple Banana Custard Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 750 ml milk
  • 6 tsp custard powder (vanilla flavour or your choice)
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cashew nuts (chopped)
  • 1 apple (chopped)
  • 1 banana (chopped)
  • some sliced apple for garnishing (optional)

Method

Apple Banana Custard

Apple Banana Custard

Take 8-9 tbsp milk in a bowl and mix 6 tsp custard powder in it and set it aside.

Heat rest of the milk at medium flame, add 2 cups sugar in it and stir well.

When the milk start boiling, add the custard powder mixture and cashew nuts in it and keep on stirring until the milk thickens.

When the milk thickens, switch off the flame and let it cool down.

Now add chopped apple and banana with the custard.

Keep it in refrigerator for about 2-3 hours and serve it cold.

Serving Instructions

Serve apple banana custard as a dessert after lunch or dinner.

Peach lavender custard recipe

There is something both fascinating and somewhat irritating about seeing things come full circle. I grew up in a village in Normandy, France, where I spent minutes, hours and years devising plans on how to leave the land of cream and apples, go to a bigger city, a bigger country, elsewhere. And I eventually made it to the next big town, then to Paris, then to Los Angeles.

Now, here I am, reading through wonderful food blogs, many of them describing the simple life on a farm, eating what you grow, the return to the soil, and I find myself irresistibly charmed by the whole idea. Did I go around in a circle all these years? I suppose it is what I learned, where I failed, the joys and sorrows and experiences along that circle which make up my path thus far. All to find myself longing to get back to where I started, appreciating now what I took for granted then. Maybe that’s what wisdom is all about. Finding my way back to the apples.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love big cities, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, among many. I love the mix of culture, the open-mindedness and diversity and vibration of a city, each in its idiosyncratic way. But I realize now more than ever, and perhaps because I now have a child, that I need the soil. I want the basics, the elements. Soil, water, fire, air. I want to get back to what’s real, and I want my son to experience those things fully while young. Instead of a disconnected view of a world of instant gratification, I would like to teach him to appreciate the genesis of things. The genesis of a crunchy sweet apple.
This is why I have felt so incredibly fortunate and privileged to meet Eric & Franka who invited us to spend a day with them, their son Dexter and their cat Pépé, harvesting fruit (ok, Pépé didn’t do much harvesting, but Dexter and Pablo did help!) at their wonderful place in Topanga Canyon, the newly formed Gopher Springs Farm.  In the middle of Los Angeles in this haven of Topanga, is another little haven: on the grounds of an old school from the 1930s, a pink house with an oddball history, surrounded by old fruit trees and land (a rare commodity in the city), inhabited by a trio with a vision to build a life of farming here. A life I admire and which we were fortunate to share for a day.
That day starts with harvesting apples. Three different kinds on the property. Then onto the peaches and nectarines. The apricots have already been harvested, partly by the local coyote. The plums aren’t ready yet. As Franka points out, their fruit trees (apples, plums, peaches, nectarines, figs, apricots, persimmons) are the old kind, planted in the 30s probably, the fruit tastes wild and natural, for lack of a better description. “Like in Europe.”
 

They’re building this place from the soil up. Eric speaks of his compost, of the importance of good, rich, healthy, nurturing, giving soil. And he works at it, patiently and lovingly, this compost is going to be a life source. Vegetables and fruits will grow strong and flavorful and juicy in it. The idea just makes me want to plant my hands deep in the rich soil and just feel its potential. This is one potential you can really count on.

They’re also building from the air down. He speaks of bees, he knows so much about them. He’s not a beekeeper, he’s a bee-charmer, devising ways to make the bees want to set up hive and produce honey here, and pollinate the fruit trees. It’s already working, the trees are more bountiful this year than ever before.

Franka and I sit under the nectarine tree, talk about being expats, living improbable lives here in LA, lives we would have never imagined as kids. Meanwhile, 13 and 14 months old Dexter and Pablo help picking the apples, take a single bite out of each one they grab, before handing it to each other. Sharing an apple under the tree. I think this makes us all feel happy and warm inside. We’re all thankful to be spending this vacation day of sorts together.

Voltaire said it. “We must cultivate our garden”. I understand how profound that phrase is so much more fully than ever before. What a breath of hope and joy to see someone truly practice that. That is most definitely what is happening at Gopher Springs Farm, and I look forward, like the patient (or impatient) gardner-in-training that I am, to watching them grow…

Some things we saw: horses, frog, rabbit, mouse, artichokes, woodpecker hole, wild fennel.

Some things we heard: donkey, crickets, bucket of rainwater splashing, toddler babbling, toddler grunting, toddler giggling.

Some things we did: harvesting, eating, talking, wagon riding, laughing, cooking, sweating, laughing, smiling.

Some things we made: friends, and peach lavender custard.

Peach Lavender Custard

Age: Obviously this is for the whole family, but you can offer this at 8-10 months. This is a little bit on the sweet side, so not an every day dessert for baby, but a nice introduction to custard and lavender, for special occasions.

Note: It is pretty healthy as far as desserts go, with the help of the coconut milk, and the protein from the eggs balances the sugar & fat contents.

Makes 6 ramekins

1 1/2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cane sugar

Scrapings from 1 vanilla bean (split lengthwise and scraped)

2 tbsp edible dried English lavender buds

4-6 ripe, cut up peaches

Preheat the oven at 325°

Combine coconut milk, cream, sugar, vanilla bean scrapings & lavender buds. Bring to a light boil, remove from heat and let steep for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks. Take six ramekins and place a few pieces of cut-up peaches into each ramekin.

Pour the milk-lavender mixture through a fine mesh colander into a bowl (press the lavender with a spoon in the colander to squeeze the flavor out of it.)

Pour the whisked egg yolks through a fine mesh colander (not the same one, or wash it up first) into the milk-lavender mixture and whisk until combined.

Pour the milk-lavender-egg mixture into each ramekin, on top of the fruit.

Place the ramekin in a deep baking dish, and pour boiling water up to the level of the custard mixture inside the ramekins, being careful not to pour any water inside the custards.

Place in the oven for about 30-35 minutes, until set.

Let cool, and serve at room temperature or chilled.

(Optional: Sprinkle some cane sugar on top and torch for a caramelized top crust)

A sweet custard recipe

“How was your week?”, people ask. But are they ready for an honest, full answer?

Because for me, it was…

A busy week. Made of work deadlines, toddler activities, juggling writing, cooking, photographing between bath times, meal times and nap times.

A grateful week, for the precious help of my mother and support of good friends.

A stressful, anxious week, with the anticipation of big life changes and all the daunting effort, work and energy they require.

A flavorful week, rich with the bounty of summer produce and local farmers.

A hopeful week, with faith in the fruits of difficult decisions and doing our best in the present.

A sad week, for the helplessness felt in the face of the struggle, pain and suffering of loved ones.

An inspiring week, with lots of ideas and connections, things to express, to explore.

A tired, humbling week, longing for sleep and rest, a reality check that my brain and body cannot function non-stop.

A joyful week, of reaping other fruits, the things Pablo has learned without my teaching, the awe and wonder of watching grow what I sowed. A spontaneous thank you, or gesture to share food, a rythm or a song, a new skill, a desire to help, a willingness to try new things, a wish to connect with others, and sprouts of empathy in his demeanor.

Such are our weeks and lives, aren’t they? Never just one thing. They are in our image, complex, mixed, impossible to define. Therein lies their beauty. They can’t be labeled, or dismissed for being one thing, these nuggets, these increments of our lives.

So with the acknowledgement of last week, ready or not, we begin a new one. With a sweet treat, and a menu, to get us on our way…

It has been a while since I’ve shared our weekly menu, and a while since I shared a dessert recipe, so I shall fix that with one post. Crème Caramel, which is basically a cold caramel custard, is a classic dessert in France. You can easily find it already-made in the yogurt section of any supermarket. All schools offer it once in a while for dessert to children (you know, French schools serving a daily four course lunch to children and all). It is a combination of such simple ingredients (milk, eggs, sugar), makes a great sweet treat.
And then I came across the photo of a verrine (pretty edible things presented in a glass, basically) on a French website, and decided to simplify it greatly to create an easy, yet delicious and crowd-pleasing dessert perfect for a summer (or any season really) afternoon, or for a dinner party.

Smoked tea infused crème caramel, & a verrine of shortbread cookie, stone fruit, yogurt, and smoked caramel custard

For the crème caramel:

Makes 4-6 ramekins, depending on size (lower, shallow ramekins tend to set better)

Age for babies: 12 months and up with the honey, in very small quantity.  I gave this to Pablo for the first time at 27 months (and it was love at first taste!)

2 cups of whole milk

1 vanilla bean (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)

3 eggs

3 tbsp honey (heat it up to make it liquidy if needed)

In a pan, combine the milk and vanilla (if using a bean, scrape the seeds off into the milk, and put the bean in the milk as well). Bring to a slow boil, cover, and remove from heat. Let the vanilla infuse for 5-10 minutes.

Preheat the oven at 400°F.

Pour the hot caramel into the bottom of the ramekins, just enough to coat the bottom. It will harden and cool quickly. (*Note that I was able to keep this caramel covered in the fridge for a couple of months. I just reheated in the microwave to liquify).

Then, whisk the eggs in a bowl, add the honey and whisk until combined.

Remove the vanilla bean from the milk, (strain the milk through a fine mesh if desired), and pour the hot milk over the eggs, all at once, and whisk vigorously for a minute or so.

Pour the milk/egg mixture over the caramel in the ramekins.

Place the ramekins in a baking dish, and pour some hot water in the dish, so it goes up about 3/4 of the way up the sides of the ramekins.

Place in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until set. You will know when you tap on your baking dish, and the middle of the custards is no longer liquid (though it will giggle a little.)

Remove from the oven and the hot water bath, and let cool. Then place in the fridge for 1 hour or more.

When ready to serve, place a plate on top of the ramekins, hold on to both and turn the plate over, shaking gently until you hear the soft “schlug” of the custard coming off the ramekin. Lift the ramekin, and pour the leftover caramel at the bottom of the ramekin over the custard.

For the verrine:

Age for babies: Omitting the crème caramel, I would give this as an afternoon snack for example from 8-10 months (yogurt, cookie, fruit mixed together and set to rest for 1 hr, so the yogurt softens the cookie).

1 plain shortbread cookie

1 spoonful of plain (full fat if possible) Greek yogurt (this one is by far the best I’ve had in the US, by the way)

1 spoonful of European style, plain yogurt, with cream on top preferably

Seasonal fruit of choice: here I used plum and nectarine 

1 bite or two of crème caramel

In a small bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt and regular yogurt with some of the cream on top.

At the bottom of a glass, break/crumble the shortbread cookie.

Add the yogurt, the cut up fruit on top, and then a spoonful of the crème caramel.

Note: You can make these ahead and leave them in the fridge until ready to serve. It gives the yogurt time to imbibe the cookie, which makes the whole thing even more scrumptious!!

It’s all about the herbs… and a savory custard

First I wanted to thank everyone for the wonderful response and feedback to my four-course family meal post, I’m so happy if it can be useful to families. We’re all in the same boat of wanting our kids (and ourselves while we’re at it) to eat well and healthy!

Speaking of which, I wanted to share this amazingly simple custard recipe. These basic ingredients made into a savory custard, result in a delicious, subtle appetizer. I would think this would be a great way to get picky eaters to try herbs.  This is one of those “It looks fancy, but it really isn’t” French recipes.

I am a big fan of herbs, and a big believer in introducing them to children and babies very early on. (I must have started around 6 months for Pablo, adding one new herb at a time to his purees). Their subtle taste brings out the flavor in dishes and enhances it, not to mention their high vitamin and mineral content, so we use them a lot, not only in cooked dishes, but in our salads as well (for example, I add 4 or 5 different kinds of chopped herbs to our plain butter lettuce salad, with a shallot and some vinaigrette. Delicious!)

I started a little herb garden of my own last year and it has been such a pleasure to go pick our fresh herbs for cooking. It’s also so much easier to be able to use just the quantity you need and have it always handy (the herbs I buy at the store always seem to go bad before I can use them all…) The herb garden has been a wonderful way to get Pablo involved. He helps water them, he smells their different fragrances, even takes a bite sometimes. (I’m thinking of devising a “scent guessing game” when Pablo is a bit older, with different herbs, to get him to recognize the smells.)

The idea is to make herbs fun, interesting and familiar as early as possible. Well, this custard is certainly one way to do just that. We made it twice in one week it was so good, and so easy to make.
I hope you give it a try, and tell me what you think! And it would definitely be fun to make the same custard experimenting with different herbs.

Savory Herb Custard

Recipe inspired from the Best Of edition of the French magazine Gourmand.

For 4 custards

Prep time – 10 minutes
Cook time – 40 minutes + cooling time

Age for babies: 10 months and above, because of the whole eggs. This is a great way to expose baby to the subtle flavor of herbs.

1/2 bunch of Italian parsley
A good handful of chives
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
3 eggs
2/3 cup of milk
2/3 cup of heavy cream
Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven at 300° F.

Peel and mince the garlic clove. In a saucepan, pour the milk and cream, and add the garlic. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

Wash, dry and chop finely the parsley and chives (I used a small Cuisinart to do the chopping for me).

In a bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Slowly pour the milk/cream/garlic mixture into the eggs, while whisking. Add the herbs, a pinch of salt & a dash of pepper.

Pour the custard into oven-safe ramekins or jars. Place the ramekins in a deep baking pan, and place the pan on the oven rack. Add enough hot water to the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins, to cook in a water bath.

Bake about 40 minutes until center is set (see if a knife comes out clean).

Remove from the water bath, let cool and serve lukewarm or at room temperature.