This quick version of a Texas favorite is the ultimate comfort food. You can dress it up with a fancy glass container and gourmet cookie, such as a chocolate or mocha Pirouette cookie, or stick with traditional vanilla wafers. Dr. Oetker Classic Crme Brle mix gives a rich, creamy result superior to any other pudding mix that I have tested. I have found this mix at the large Tom Thumb stores and at Central Market. It also makes an easy crme brle, though you'll need a small cook's torch to finish the dessert.
Anne Greer McCann is a Dallas restaurant consultant.
In a small saucepan combine half-and-half and milk with crme brle mix. Place over medium-high heat and stir constantly until mixture begins to thicken, about 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and continue stirring until mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and pour into a glass bowl. Let the mixture cool at room temperature for at least one hour. Refrigerate.
Before serving, whisk in whipped topping. The pudding thickens as it cools, so you will need to stir briskly a few times. Peel and slice bananas and fold into pudding about 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with cookies.
Makes 4 servings.
Notes: To cut calories, use all whole milk (instead of half-and-half and milk), if desired. Skim milk does not work because the consistency is too thin.
Do not use the envelope of sugar contained in the crme brle package. This is only used when you are making crme brle.