I am a huge fan of this old-fashioned delicious treat. I don't make it very often, but when I do, I'm always in love with the flavors; creamy vanilla pudding, vanilla wafers and banana slices all layered up in this yummy treat.
I do not make the meringue many times as my family doesn't like it, but rather top mine with whipped cream and sprinkle on some reserved vanilla wafer crumbs. Either way you do it, it's simply heaven!
2/3 cups sugar + 2 tsp. sugar for meringue
4 tbls. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups milk (I use Organic Valley)
4 farm fresh egg yolks, slightly beaten (reserve egg whites)
4 tbls. butter, softened
4 tsp. real vanilla extract + 1/2 tsp. for whipped cream
1 box organic Vanilla Wafers (reserve a few for cookie crumbs)
3-4 Banana's, sliced
1 pint organic whipping cream (I use Organic Valley)
For the Pudding:
Beat sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large saucepan. Combine milk and egg yolks; gradually stir into sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Cool slightly.
In a 13 x 9 - inch pan, line bottom with vanilla wafers. Pour half of the cooled pudding mixture over top of vanilla wafers, spreading with a knife to cover. Top with a layer of sliced bananas. Repeat layers.
Beat reserved egg whites with 2 tsp. water and 2 tsp. sugar until soft peaks form. Spread over banana pudding and bake in a 400 degree oven 5 minutes or until slightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely in your refrigerator
Whipped Cream Option:
Beat whipping cream with 1/2 tsp. vanilla until stiff. Spread over banana pudding and sprinkle top with reserved cookie crumbs. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Store unused portions in your refrigerator.