Classic Banana Pudding
Cookies, bananas, and homemade custard beneath a mountain of meringue. A timeless dessert!
For the custard
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 1/3 cup (45g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 egg yolks from large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups (500ml) whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the meringue topping:
- 3 egg whites from large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
For assembling the dessert:
- 1 box 'Nilla wafers or 2 (7.25-ounce) packages Chessmen cookies
- 5 bananas, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick crosswise slices
Making the custard:
Center the oven rack, and preheat the oven to 350°F. In a double boiler (or in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water), whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt. Add the egg yolks and half of the milk, and whisk to combine. Whisk in the remaining milk.
Stir the mixture slowly and constantly until it turns silky smooth and thick -- 10-12 minutes (be patient here). Off heat, stir in the vanilla extract. Set aside while you make the meringue topping.
Making the meringue topping:
Put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with the whisk attachment (or, use a large bowl and electric hand-held beaters). When the whites turn foamy, add the cream of tartar. While eating at high speed, slowly add the 1/4 cup sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Assembling the dessert:
Put a single layer of cookies in a baking dish that holds approximately 11 cups (2.7 liters). Add 1/2 of the banana slices, and top with 1/2 of the custard. Then add another layer of cookies, followed by the remaining bananas and custard. Top with the meringue, spreading it all the way to edge of the baking dish.
Baking and serving the dessert: