· Jan 17, 2015

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

My obsession with banana pudding began at a very young age. It was an absolute must on the dessert menu at every single special event or family gathering that we had. Without exception. When planning events, I can remember the cooks planning, who would be making the fried chicken, who was going to bring the meatloaf, the sweet tea and the banana pudding. Coming from a very large family, there were tables filled with the best of Southern food but, these particular dishes were standard fare.

This style of banana pudding is the kind my Mom and Gramma's made. It features a rich vanilla egg custard that's like velvet on your tongue. Sheer perfection. Meringue is traditionally how this old fashioned banana pudding would be topped and for this recipe I wanted to stay true to that tradition although, some people may prefer whipped cream. Either way, this Southern classic is pure comfort.

Ingredients you'll need:
1 (12) oz can evaporated milk
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
6 large egg yolks, reserve egg whites
2 1/3 cup half & half
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
11 oz box vanilla wafers
4 medium bananas, sliced
6 reserved egg whites
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
6 Tbsp granulated sugar

In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, granulated sugar, flour and salt until dissolved. On the stove top in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high, warm the evaporated milk mixture. In the same mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the half & half. Whisk into the warmed evaporated milk mixture.

Cook stirring constantly for 10-15 minutes over medium heat until the flour has cooked and the custard has thickened. Once thickened remove from the heat and whisk in 2 Tbsp of butter and 1 Tbsp of pure vanilla. Set aside

Layer the bottom of a 7 x 11-inch oven safe dish with vanilla wafers. Top with banana slices. Cover with 1/2 of the custard. Repeat ending with custard.

Whip the 6 reserved egg whites with the vanilla, and cream of tarter. Sweeten with granulated sugar. Whip for 3-5 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Spread the meringue on top of the banana pudding.

Set the oven to broil to toast the top until golden. Do not walk away. Garnish the edge with vanilla wafers, if desired. Yield: 12 servings

Cook's note:
If you'd like to garnish the edge with vanilla wafers, separate out the amount needed to rim the dish before assembling the banana pudding. Use the rest in the dish.
If using a different shape or size of dish, you may have more layers. Adjust as needed.

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