Banana Pudding

Ingredients:
4 cups Milk
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Salt
4 Egg Yolks
3 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Butter
4-6 Ripe Bananas, sliced
2-4 cups Savoiardi Lady Fingers, cut into pieces

Meringue Topping or
Whipped Cream

Directions:

  • Line a baking dish with a layer of the Savoiardi followed by a layer of the Bananas.
  • If using the Meringue Topping, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • In a large sauce pan, combine the Cornstarch, Salt and Sugar.
  • In a bowl whisk together the Egg Yolks and the Milk.
  • Slowly add the Yolk/Milk mixture to the Dry Ingredients, whisking with a balloon whisk. Whisk well to prevent any lumps.
  • Heat on low-medium Heat, stirring constantly. Do not bring to a boil.
  • As the pudding heats up, the cornstarch will start to thicken the sauce. Be vigilant as it will go from broth to custard almost with no warning. When it starts to turn to custard, it is done cooking.
  • Remove from the heat and mix in the Vanilla and Butter.
  • Pour half of the mixture over the Bananas Cookie Layer, then add additional Savoiardi and Bananas.
  • Top:
    • If using a meringue, make the meringue mixture and top; bake for 12-15 minutes or until the meringue is golden.
    • If using whipped cream, spread over the top of the pudding; crumble the remaining cookies, and sprinkle on top; then refrigerate.

NOTES: Banana Pudding is a Southern comfort food. In the Summer time it is traditional to use a Meringue topping, however no one will fault you for using whipped cream. Though traditionalists would probably scream, I prefer Ladyfingers or Savoiardi to Vanilla Wafers, and I partially wonder if that is what was used before Vanilla Wafers were mass-marketed. Regarding the bananas, they need to be real ripe with brown speckles on the skin. You can rush the ripeness by putting them in a dark place ina bag or in the fridge.

Meringue Topping

Ingredients:
4 Egg Whites, room temperature
5 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  • Beat the Egg Whites until they form soft peaks.
  • Add the cream of tartar, and continue to beat, gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold the vanilla into the meringue

NOTES: You can use this topping on Banana Pudding, but also on any custard pie, or other pie that would require Meringue topping. Just cover the pie, and bake at 375°F until golden brown.

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