Monday, February 6, 2012
Mascarpone Banana Pudding (In a Jar)
My wife and I have a friendly little competition going on here at the blog. We both want to have the most popular post. I have to tell you that she is kicking my butt -- and not just a little bit. One day she had the idea to make a salad in a jar with tiny, baby ingredients. (I'm not even going to link to it because some of you would undoubtedly click on it.) (Here it is! -Amy) I thought it was pretty silly, but nonetheless, I photographed it and posted it. It was an instant sensation thanks to it being picked up by several Pinterest people and a blog called Under the Table and Dreaming, thereby knocking my vegetarian pot pie waaaaay out of the lead. So, not only did she beat me, but she had beat me at my own game: she's supposed to be making the sweets, and I'm the savory guy.
This is my diabolical plan to regain the top spot: mix the richness of mascarpone into a dessert we Southerners already treasure...and put it in a silly little jar to boot.
Don't let the kitschiness fool you; this dessert is serious. The blended bananas and the creamy mascarpone take on the texture of pudding, but the mixture has a richness you don't get from a box. It's only lightly sweet and the puffy meringue makes you feel like you are eating a cloud.
Mascarpone Banana Pudding
special equipment: 4 small (about 1 cup) mason jars.
1 cup mascarpone cheese (8.8 ounces)
2 medium banana (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt (Believe me, it's a must.)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
12 vanilla wafers (crumbled, about a cup)
1 banana (1/4-inch sliced)
meringue (recipe follows)
Place mascarpone cheese, the flesh of 2 bananas, vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar into the work bowl of your food processor. Blend until completely smooth. Divide the crushed wafers among the jars making sure they are speed evenly to cover the bottom on the jar. Divide the sliced banana among the jars adding 4-5 slices per jar. Now divide the mascarpone and banana mixture among the four jars. Leave about a 1/2 inch of space at the top of the jar for the meringue.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Add the meringue to the top of each jar with a spoon. Pile it on 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Place jars in the oven for five to seven minutes or until meringue is lightly browned. Place the warm jars in the fridge to cool for 15 minutes -- if you can wait that long.
For the meringue:
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Using your stand mixer or a medium metal bowl and a whisk, beat the cold egg whites and cream of tartar until the whites form soft peaks. (This means that when you pull the whisk away from the beaten whites, the point slowly flops over.) Add the sugar and vanilla. Whisk to incorporate.