This Summer, Fill Your Freezer with Banana Pudding Paletas

Pastry chef Paola Velez rethinks the frozen treat on this week’s episode of Pastries with Paola. 

Banana Pudding Paletas
Photo: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

With the weather heating up, we're already dreaming of all the delicious desserts we can make this summer, from berry-topped shortcakes to homemade ice cream. Also on our list? These creamy, white chocolate-covered Banana Pudding Paletas, which Paola Velez shares on this week's episode of Pastries with Paola. They're inspired by classic banana pudding, featuring a pudding mixture studded with chunks of banana and crushed vanilla wafer cookies that gets a dose of nutty richness from browned butter. That mixture is then frozen in molds, covered in a white chocolate shell, and finished off with more crushed cookies and chocolate sprinkles for a tasty treat. They will require some patience, since you have to let the paletas freeze for 24 hours, but the payoff is definitely sweet.

Read on for Paola's method and follow along with the video below so you can make them, too.

Brown the Butter and Make the Custard

Browned butter makes everything better. Make a batch with unsalted butter on the stovetop and then let it cool; in the meantime, you can get started on your custard. You'll need granulated sugar, cornstarch, and large egg yolks, plus a medium metal bowl, a whisk, a large saucepan, and some water. Bring the water to a boil in the saucepan over high. Once you've whisked together the ingredients in the bowl, place the bowl on top of the saucepan—don't let the bottom touch the water!—and turn the heat down to medium. Whisk the mixture constantly, letting it cook until it becomes pale yellow and has doubled in size.

Check the mixture with an instant read thermometer—it should register 180°F. If you don't have one, Paola demonstrates a helpful trick you can do with a spoon to check if the custard is ready.

Make the Banana Pudding Mixture

Remove the egg mixture from the heat and gently whisk in the browned butter. If you want to make these boozy pops, you can add a little bourbon, too. Then, whisk in the kosher salt and citric acid, evenly incorporating them. Whip heavy cream to medium peaks in a separate bowl and then fold one third of it into the egg mixture. Then, fold in the diced bananas and some of the crushed vanilla wafer cookies, followed by the remaining whipped cream.

Fill and Freeze

Transfer the pudding mixture to ice pop molds, tapping the molds on a work surface to remove air bubbles. Then insert the sticks and freeze the paletas for 24 hours. When ready, dip each mold briefly in warm water so you can easily release the paletas.

Dunk, Decorate, and Enjoy

Now comes the really fun part—decorating the paletas. First, make the chocolate shell by melting chopped caramelized white chocolate (or white chocolate chips) along with coconut oil in the microwave. Add yellow food coloring here, if you'd like, for extra banana vibes. Let the mixture cool to room temperature and then dip each paleta in, so they're fully covered. To finish them off, sprinkle on the remaining crushed vanilla wafer cookies and some chocolate sprinkles. All that's left to do is freeze them until you're ready to eat.

"That banana flavor…it really feels like I'm eating banana pudding," Paola says. "The vanilla wafers, the really creamy banana, that white chocolate shell, so good."

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