If you love bananas, you’re bound to love banana pudding. Creamy, sweet, crunchy, and filled with banana and vanilla goodness, the pudding can be homemade or store-bought.
With its delectable flavors and textures, it is understandable that you wouldn’t want a single spoonful of banana pudding to go to waste. So what do you do with leftovers? Here you will find out exactly how to preserve banana pudding and what to do if freezing is your last option.
Types of Banana Pudding
Banana pudding is made with layers of sweet vanilla flavored custard, vanilla wafers, and fresh banana slices. These ingredients are layered in a dish and topped with whipped cream or meringue.
Banana pudding is slightly similar to English Trifle in the assembly of custard, fruit, cake, and whipped cream layers. Banana pudding can be prepared using a baked or refrigerated method, although most home-made banana puddings are known to be made without baking.
For even further convenience, some recipes have replaced the original custard filling with an instant vanilla or banana pudding mix.
Regardless of the ingredients you choose, the typical layering of the bananas, custard, and wafers allows the wafers to absorb the custard, pressing together for a delicious banana-vanilla taste sensation.
Can I Freeze Banana Pudding?
Banana pudding can be frozen, but freezing banana pudding leftovers can be tricky. There are several things you may want to consider before freezing banana pudding. If you know beforehand that you want to place your banana pudding in the freezer, you can however prepare it accordingly.
Due to the high water content of the ingredients used in banana pudding, crystallization during freezing will cause the texture to change on thawing.
In addition, bananas will become soggy and turn brown. The good news is that there is a way to prepare the bananas to prevent browning if you are making the pudding yourself.
Another factor to consider when freezing banana pudding is the use of temperature-sensitive ingredients such as cream, milk, and eggs.
Although freezing banana pudding may not provide you with the same consistency as the freshly made version, there are delicious ways in which you can use the frozen dessert, and steps you can take to ensure it freezes well.
Follow the below guidelines when freezing banana pudding.
How To Freeze Homemade Banana Pudding
When freezing banana pudding, you want to freeze the pudding as fresh as possible, preferably the same day it was made.
Step 1: Prepare Pudding
Before making the pudding, fill a small dish with lemon juice and dip the banana slices in the lemon juice. This prevents oxidation and the bananas from turning brown. Once dipped, mash the bananas for the pudding, if desired.
Assemble the pudding as you normally would. If you are keeping aside a certain portion to freeze, do not add any whipped cream or meringue to the top of this portion. These ingredients are best left to add fresh.
If you are freezing leftovers, it is best to remove the whipped cream layer from the top before freezing.
Step 2: Portion
Option 1: Container
Portion the pudding into airtight freezer-friendly containers for freezing.
Option 2: Popsicles
Leftover pudding can also be mixed and frozen in popsicle molds to eat as a delicious frozen dessert. If you do not have popsicle molds, line a muffin tray with cling film so that the pudding doesn’t stick once frozen. Portion the pudding into each muffin compartment.
Place it in the freezer until completely frozen. Remove the frozen ‘banana pudding muffins’ and place them in air-tight containers. Alternatively, use freezer bags. Press out any remaining air from the bags and seal.
Step 3: Cover
If freezing the pudding in a container, cover the pudding with a layer of cling film before sealing it securely with the lid.
Step 4: Label and Freeze
Label the container with the date and contents and pop it into the freezer.
How To Freeze Store-Bought Banana Pudding
Unfortunately, there is no way of pre-treating ingredients for freezer preservation when it comes to premade store-bought pudding. This makes it a little trickier to determine how successful freezing will be.
Except for treating the bananas with lemon juice, follow the same steps as when freezing homemade pudding. Keep the following in mind:
- Remove any cream topping or meringue before freezing.
- Your best bet will be to mix the pudding and make popsicles. This way your dessert can be enjoyed frozen and you will avoid soggy, brown thawed bananas.
- Never use the store-bought container for freezing. Always portion the pudding into a freezer-friendly air-tight container.
How To Thaw Frozen Banana Pudding
In all honesty, you may not want to thaw your banana pudding completely and rather enjoy it as a popsicle or frozen dessert. If you were able to pre-treat the bananas and avoid the cream topping before freezing, place it directly in the fridge to thaw slowly for a few hours. Add freshly whipped cream if desired.
Although freezing banana pudding is not the ideal method for preserving this creamy pudding, it can be done successfully, especially when turning it into a frozen dessert.
Most importantly, prepare the banana slices before mashing to preserve the color and avoid freezing the whipped topping with the pudding. While the pudding component may thaw well, the banana will seep moisture and cookies might become soft, so you may consider adding these fresh instead.
Despite the controversial practice of freezing this pudding, you might discover that frozen banana pudding popsicles become a new favorite in your household.
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