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.