How Ripe Should Bananas Be For Banana Pudding?

The life of a banana is not long. The peels of these bad boys can go from green to yellow to dark brown within a few days of bringing them home from the grocery store. It doesn't give you long to enjoy them in your yogurt, pancakes, smoothies, or baked goods. In fact, according to Can It Go Bad, if you purchase a bunch of these fruits and leave them on the counter, you will need to eat them up within three days before they start to overripen. 

How can you tell if your bananas are ripe? Per Spoon University, when in doubt, simply do the press test on your bananas. This test may leave you feeling a little like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but it also will ensure you get the perfect-tasting banana. How does it work? If upon pressing on the banana it is too hard, it is likely not ripe. If it is mushy and gooey, your banana is past the point of no return and is considered overripe. However, if it is medium to soft in texture, your banana is just right. 

But what if you are using your bananas to bake with or make a lovely delicate dessert? Brown bananas work in brown butter banana bread. So just how ripe should your bananas be for a homemade classic banana pudding?

They need to be pretty

According to Southern Living, while those brown bananas are perfect for making your great aunt's homemade hummingbird cake, when it comes to making a banana pudding, you want your bananas to be "pretty," meaning they can't be mushy or discolored when you slice them up. And, you don't want them to be overly sweet as they tend to get as they ripen. But MasterClass cautions that you also don't want your bananas too firm for your pudding. Those slices of fruit need to compliment the layers of vanilla wafer cookies and vanilla pudding or custard, and should definitely be ripe.

Half-Scratched concurs that you want your bananas ripe, saying they should be "yellow with little brown spots" and suggesting if your banana bunch hasn't quite ripened, but you still want to make your pudding, you should try the old paper bag trick: Place your bananas in the bag and the lack of light will help speed up their ripening.