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Thanks to Robert Rose Inc. for providing me with a review copy of 150 Best Desserts in a Jar.
Serving dessert to the Frugal Follies kids can often be quite a problem.
First, there's the "she got more than I did!" complaints. Second, there's the "can I have just a little bit more?" questions. And third, there's the mess that they make eating the dessert.
So when I heard about the concept of making desserts in a jar, I realized that this would solve all of those problems. Each serving would have the same amount. They couldn't have more because that would mean having another full serving. And the mess would be confined to a small, easy-to-clean jar.
Now, the consequences of them eating too much sugar, that's an altogether different problem...
But back to desserts in a jar. When I heard about the concept, I also knew it would be great for me, because we have a lot of canning equipment in the house. I make mango jam from the fruit from my backyard tree each year, but I still have lots of canning jars that I've bought here and there. I could use them to make desserts!
I think this concept would be great not only for kids, but for when you have company as well. The desserts would be made and ready to serve - just take them out of the oven or refrigerator and give one to each person! It's also great for those who are watching their weight or sugar intake, as the portion size is already decided. Unless you eat a second one, of course.
I found some amazing recipes in 150 Best Desserts in a Jar by Andrea Jourdan.
There are warm and comforting recipes such as crumbles, cobblers, steamed puddings, bread puddings, custards, cakes, souffles. There are recipes that can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator, such as gelatin desserts, trifles, tiramisu, and parfaits. They all sound so delicious!
I decided to try the Banana Pudding in a Jar, because we all love bananas around here, and because the frugal side of me didn't want to go out and buy any new ingredients. (The non-frugal side wanted to go out and buy a lot of chocolate and try one of the chocolate desserts, like the Double Chocolate and Chile Pudding Cake.)
The original recipe called for aniseed and dried cranberries, but I left those out. I'm sure the pudding would have been even better with them. The recipe also called for a salted caramel sauce on top, but I skipped that due to time constraints. I'm sure the recipe would have been divine with it!
Making the banana pudding was pretty easy. First, I mashed bananas and sauteed them with butter in a skillet.
When the bananas were cooked, I pureed them in the food processor with a little baking soda.
Then, I creamed butter and brown sugar together and mixed them with eggs, vanilla, self-rising flour, baking powder, and the banana mixture. (I didn't have self-rising flour on hand, so I made it according to the recipe from all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and cornstarch.)
My daughter then helped me by spooning the pudding into the greased 8-oz jars. (I had previously greased them with the leftover butter wrappers - there was enough butter still on the wrapper to use here.) I wiped the tops of the jars and put them in a baking pan.
I then covered the jars with aluminum foil and filled the baking pan with water. They baked in the oven for 25 minutes. (Be careful removing the pan filled with now-hot water!) When they were done, the pudding had puffed up to the top of the jars.
We dove in with spoons while they were still warm and ate the pudding. Yum!
Here's the complete recipe:
BANANA PUDDING IN A JAR
based on a recipe from 150 Best Desserts in a Jar by Andrea Jourdan
2 cups self-rising flour*
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, divided
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the insides of 8 8-oz canning jars.
In a bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In a small skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter. Add bananas. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Transfer to food processor with the sharp blade. Add baking soda and process for 30 seconds. Set aside.
In a bowl, using electric mixer at medium speed, beat remaining butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. Add reserved banana and flour mixtures and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Spoon mixture into 8 jars, dividing equally. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and poke a few holes in the foil.
Place jars in baking pan, spaced evently apart and not touching the sides of the pan, and add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the jars. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and transfer jars to a wire rack to cool slightly.
Makes 8 jars.
*If you don't have self-rising cake flour, substitute 1-3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup cornstarch, 1 tbsp baking powder, and 1 tsp salt. Sift the combined ingredients twice before using.
There are lots more easy and cheap recipes posted here at Frugal Follies. Click here for the list!
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