Comfort Food: A Perfect Banana Pudding :
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 box of Vanilla Wafers
- 5 large ripe bananas
For the meringue:
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Line the bottom of a 9×9-inch baking dish with a layer of vanilla wafers. (This recipe will not use the whole box, so you may snack along the way, but don’t get carried away.)
- Peel the bananas and slice into 3/8-inch rounds; use a ruler (I’m kidding!). Cover the banana slices with plastic wrap to keep them from darkening, and quickly make your pudding.
- Note: I didn’t do it this way. I made the pudding first, covered it with plastic wrap and then sliced the bananas.
- Combine the sugar, flour and salt in bowl, mix well, and set aside. In a heavy saucepan, beat egg yolks well (just use a fork or a whisk, but beat well). Over medium heat, add the flour mixture to the egg yolks alternately with the milk and vanilla, stirring constantly.
Bring to a gentle boil and, when mixture begins to thicken, add butter, continuing to stir to prevent scorching. When the mixture reaches pudding consistency, remove from heat.
- Place a layer of banana slices in the baking dish on top of the vanilla wafers. Don’t stint and put one slice of banana per wafer. Line those banana slices up edge-to-edge.
- Pour, spreading as necessary, half of the pudding over the banana layer. Put down another layer of vanilla wafers, another layer of banana slices, and cover with the remaining pudding.
- For the meringue, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they form soft peaks. Add the cream of tartar. Beat and then add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Fold the vanilla into the meringue, and spread the meringue over the pudding, sealing it at the sides of the dish.
Place in a preheated 375° oven and bake until browned, 12 to 15 minutes, depending upon your oven.
- This recipe makes 6 or 8 servings. Any leftovers should be covered and refrigerated.
And, yes, it’s hard to cover anything with a meringue top and although banana pudding is not attractive after it’s been refrigerated, it’s still just as delicious.