No offense to Paula Deen, my Hallmark friend Ann, my coworkers or my fantastic mother-in-law, because their banana pudding recipes are awesome, but the banana pudding my mom has made my entire life really is the best banana pudding in the entire world. And what makes it the best, you ask? Homemade custard and a meringue topping. I remember the first time I had a banana pudding that didn't have the meringue... it still had really delicious flavor, but it was disappointing. There is simply nothing like the recipe my mom always made. You bake it for 15-20 minutes to make the meringue golden brown, and you let it chill for a little bit. I was never able to let it sit very long, and when you scoop into it, it's still a little warm and just tastes like the best thing you've ever eaten.
(I'm not even going to pretend that I haven't already eaten a significant portion of this by myself. I even had some for breakfast this morning. It's healthy, right? Eggs, milk & bananas. Perfect breakfast food! =) )
This recipe is so, so good. When my mom used to make it, I assumed it came from some fancy cookbook, but nope. It came from a box of Nilla Wafers.
So, next time you have the urge to make banana pudding, try it this way. You'll never be able to go back to the whipped cream version you've been eating for years.
Best Banana Pudding Ever
(Recipe originally found here.)
- 3/4 C. sugar, divided
- 1/3 C. all purpose flour
- dash of salt
- 3 eggs, separated
- 2 C. whole milk
- 1/2 t. vanilla
- Box of NILLA Wafers (if you want to feel less guilty, use reduced fat)
- 5 bananas, sliced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix 1/2 cup sugar, flour and salt in top of double boiler. Blend in 3 egg yolks and milk. Cook, uncovered, over boiling water 10 to 12 min. or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
- Spread small amount of custard onto bottom of 1-1/2-qt. baking dish. Cover with layers of 1/3 each of the remaining wafers, bananas and remaining custard. Repeat layers 2 times.
- Beat egg whites on high speed of mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread over custard, sealing well to edge of dish.
- Bake 15 to 20 min. or until lightly browned. Cool slightly.