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Let Her Cook: Redneck tiramisu
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Let Her Cook: Redneck tiramisu

Banana pudding is forever

This week’s Let Her Cook is inspired by my friend Chelsey, “Kitchen Marm” on X. She’s a New Hampshire-based, homesteading mother who makesjust about everything she feeds her three kids (the oldest of whom is three) from scratch, including, most recently, banana pudding.

If you’re as motivated as Chelsey, you’ll make your own vanilla pudding and caramel, and if you’re Nara Smith, you might even make your own vanilla wafers. If you’re Helen Roy, you’re taking this to a party and want to keep it pretty simple, with just a splash of that special Southern social lubricant: preferably Basil Hayden’s.*

Bourbon banana pudding


  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 pack instant French vanilla pudding (3.4 ounces)
  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1.5 ounces bourbon
  • 6 bananas (just ripened)
  • 2 cups Nilla Wafers
  • 1 cup caramel for topping


  1. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined.
  1. Add the French vanilla pudding mix to the diluted sweetened condensed milk, and whisk until pudding is fully dissolved. Cover bowl and place in refrigerator until solidified. (This typically takes 2-3 hours). Once solidified, remove from the refrigerator, and continue the recipe.
  1. Place heavy whipping cream and bourbon into the bowl of a standing mixer. Beat on medium speed until cream stiffens into a whipped cream texture. Fold solidified French vanilla pudding into whipped cream with a spatula until evenly mixed. Beat for another minute in the standing mixer until no streaks of pudding exist.
  1. Prepare dessert in a trifle dish or in individual versions. To assemble the dessert, arrange 1/3 of the Nilla Wafers and lemon snaps covering the bottom of the dish, followed by a layer of bananas, and top with a layer of pudding. Drizzle the top with 1/3 cup of caramel. Repeat this step two more times.
  1. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill at least 4 hours overnight. (Longer chill produces the best results.)

*The Heydons (original spelling) emigrated to the Virginia Colony in the 1660s, when much of Britain became inhospitable to Catholics. Francis Hayden, Basil Hayden Sr.'s great-grandfather and the first Heydon (then switching to Hayden), moved from Virginia to Maryland in 1678, settling in St. Mary's County on St. Clement's Bay, where the family remained until Basil led a group of 25 Catholic families from Maryland into what is now Nelson County, Kentucky, (near Bardstown) in 1785. There, Hayden donated the land for the first Catholic church west of the Alleghenies and the first Catholic church in what is now the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Basil began farming and distilling on a small scale. Legend says that Basil Hayden produced whiskey with a higher rye content than most distillers. He was also philanthropic and donated the land to build the first Catholic church in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

During the American Revolution, Basil Sr. supplied provisions to the Continental Army.

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Helen Roy

Helen Roy

Staff Writer

Helen Roy is an opinion contributor for Blaze News and a staff writer for Align.
@helen_of_roy →