Banana Pudding

If you have read any of my blog posts, you will know that I was raised in the South.  Different places in the South, but still the South.  Having lived in the South during my formative years, I am very picky passionate about certain things.  I don't like dishes left in the sink at night - I lived in Texas and Louisiana where the cockroaches could carry off a 6 pound roast.  I love - but am very particular about - biscuits, soup beans, collard greens and banana pudding.

PoppaH and 2 of my kiddos don't like bananas.  I know.  It is wrong. So, so wrong.  But, what can I do?  Because of this, I have made this pudding without bananas.  It was still good.

I made the first batch in 1/2 pint mason jars, pretty cool if you want it pre-proportioned.  That batch was actually too sweet.  Of course, I had to try it again, adjusting the sugar.  The second batch was just right.

It was all for you.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Banana Pudding

1/4 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, separated (you'll need to whites for the meringue)
4 cups milk, whole if you have it
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons butter
1 box vanilla wafers (you probably won't use them all)
4-5 bananas

4 egg whites (reserved from above)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 Tablespoons (about 1/3 cup) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Combine the corn starch, sugar and salt in a heavy sauce pan.
Lightly beat the egg yolks and combine with milk in a large bowl or measuring cup.
Whisk the egg mixture into the dry ingredients in the saucepan.  Cook, over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the ingredients are thickened and smooth.  
Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
Let cool slightly while you make the meringue.

Whip the egg whites with an electric mixer set at high spoof.
When the egg whites are foamy, add cream of tartar.
Keep whipping (whip - nae nae)
While whipping, gradually add sugar.
Keep whipping until stiff peaks have formed.  Whip in vanilla.

To assemble the pudding:
Place vanilla wafers on the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish.
Slice bananas and place on top of wafers.
Pour pudding over bananas.
Spread meringue over pudding, making peaks with your spreader.

Bake for about 15 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned.

If you are using jars, start with the wafers and layer as above twice - you know, like a parfait.  
Top with meringue.  

Place jars in a baking dish and bake as above.

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