Plan Ahead Dessert Recipe: Banana Caramel Pudding

For The Banana Pudding:
3 boxes instant banana pudding or vanilla pudding.
Prepare following instructions on the packaging.
Make sure pudding is refrigerated for 45 minutes before assembling the rest of your recipe.

For The Caramel Sauce:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 Teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
5 bananas
4 cups vanilla wafers
1 large tub of whipping cream

To make the caramel sauce:
Microwave together the butter, heavy cream, and salt until the butter is melted (or melt the butter with the cream and salt in a small saucepan). Whisk to combine and set aside. Place the sugar and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Melt the sugar over medium-high heat, swirling the pan occasionally to evenly distribute the heat, until the sugar is a deep nutty brown and smells bittersweet, 10 to 12 minutes. Pour in the butter mixture (be careful-the sauce will hiss and bubble up) and then place the mixture back over medium-high heat to return it to a boil. Turn off the heat and set the saucepan aside to let the caramel cool to room temperature, 1 to 2 hours.

Directions:
Peel and thinly slice the bananas and set aside (wait to slice the bananas until you’re ready to assemble the dish, otherwise, they’ll brown). Evenly spread 1 cup whipped cream over the bottom of a large bowl. Top with a layer of bananas and 1 cup pudding. Place about 20 wafers in a flat layer on top of the pudding and evenly drizzle 1/2 cup caramel over the wafers. Repeat the layering process three times beginning with the whipped cream, followed by some sliced bananas, pudding, wafers, and caramel. Finish the pudding with a final layer of whipped cream (you should have about 1 cup remaining after repeating four layers), cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. Ready to serve.

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