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Homemade banana pudding

Posted Mar 09 2011 4:32pm
A couple weeks ago Wes came home with a single portion of banana pudding from the local Newflower.  In all honesty, I never was much of a banana pudding fan and have never tried making it on my own.  I know this is very "un-texan" of me.  But you have to remember that my parents grew up in Canada.  All of these southern treats I make weren't really things we had in my house growing up.

Yes there was the occasional chocolate sheath cake and a pecan pie here and there, but there was definitely no banana pudding.

Anyway for whatever reason, I have had banana pudding on the brain.  After a couple of lingering glances at the box of vanilla wafers at the grocery store on Monday, I knew that banana pudding was in my near future. I went ahead and secured all the necessary ingredients at that time.

I googled recipes for a while yesterday looking at quite a variety, and decided on a more homemade approach.  Of course you can take the easy way out and grab a box of vanilla pudding, banana pudding, and a tub of cool whip, but I wanted to try making this the true southern way, meringue and all.

Don't get me wrong, that variety of banana pudding is very good. And most closely identifies with the one Wes brought home from the grocery store.  But I do love a good meringue, so figured why not.

Here's the recipe
Homemade banana pudding

5 ripe bananas (or 5 bananas that are not quite ripe warmed up in the microwave peel on for about 20 seconds)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
4 egg yolks
2 (ish) tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 box vanilla wafers (reduced fat is fine)

Meringue

4 egg whites
1 tsp cream of tartar
5 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt.  Separate eggs, put egg yolks in a heavy sauce pan and egg whites in the bowl of your kitchen aid, or any mixing bowl. 

Beat egg yolks with a fork.  Add milk and vanilla. Whisk together.  Once combined, gradually whisk in the flour mixture until completely combined.  Over medium heat, whisk constantly until texture becomes thick and pudding like. Once the mixture begins to boil, add in the butter. Continue stirring for just a few more minutes. It will be quite thick when finished.

While you are stirring this, let your kitchen aid do some work on the egg whites.  Beat egg whites until very soft peaks have formed, gradually add in sugar and cream of tartar. Beat for about 5 minutes until nice glossy peaks are formed. Fold in vanilla. Vanilla is completely optional here. I just happen to love it so add it whenever I can :)

To prep the pudding, slice up the 5 bananas.  Grease a 9 by 13 inch pan (you can use 8 x 8 as well).  Layer a row of vanilla wafers, then a layer of banana slices.  Pour in the pudding mixture. Add another layer of banana and vanilla wafers.  Pipe the egg white meringues on top of the dish.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 13 minutes, or until meringue looks brown on the tips.

Cool for several hours.

I only made one layer because my smaller baking dish has mysteriously disappeared and all I had on hand was a 9x13.  It looks to have turned out decent, but I think more layers will be nice next time. I will definitely use a smaller dish.  But here is the finished product. And yes I know the meringue looks funny, but it tastes good!!

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