banana pudding

Yields 1 large bowl of pudding, serves however many people you think that feeds.  


4 ripe bananas, sliced (Use at least good, medium-sized bananas. I got about 3 cups sliced.)
3.4oz box vanilla instant pudding mix
2 cups (1 pint) cold fat free milk
2 cups (1 pint) whipping cream (I used the regular whipping cream but you can use heavy whipping cream also)
11-12oz box vanilla wafers


1. Reserve 1 cup of the vanilla wafers. This will be used to top the whole shabang.
2. As indicted by the box of instant pudding, whisk milk and instant pudding mix together in a medium bowl until it is soft set-- about 5 minutes. Then refrigerate while you prepare all your other ingredients. The longer you allow the pudding to set, the better.
3. Slice bananas if you haven't done already. Also, in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer, whip together the whipping cream until stiff peaks. Note: Start your hand/stand mixer on low and then increase to medium speed. Do not shoot straight to medium or there will be problems.. messy problems.
4. When your pudding looks more like a medium set, you are ready to use it. At least 5-10 minutes in the refrigerator. 
5. With a spatula, fold in about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until there are no pudding streaks. Then add the vanilla pudding mixture directly into the bowl of the remaining 2/3 whipped cream. Continue folding the mixture until, again, no streaks and it all looks cohesive.
6. In a large bowl, layer the vanilla wafers, banana, and pudding mixture. I like to go in that order, and I usually get at least 3-4 layers. The number of layers will depend on what size bowl or dish you use. Just make sure you end with a layer of pudding on top.
7. With your hands, crush the reserved 1 cup of vanilla wafers over the very top of the layered pudding to finish it off. 
8. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Overnight is even better.
9. After the pudding has been sufficiently refrigerated, you are ready to serve it up. Or grab and spoon and dive right in. Do not let pudding sit out. Continue to refrigerate leftovers.