Prep 30 mins
Cook 25 mins
This is an awesome rendition of the usual banana pudding with a meringue topping. It is from the Debbi Field's cookbook, Great American Desserts.
- 2⁄3 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 cup cornstarch
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1⁄2 cups half-and-half
- 6 large egg yolks, at room temperature (save egg whites to use later in recipe)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon, rind of, grated fresh
- 6 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 40 vanilla wafer cookies, for layering
- 40 lemon snap cookies, for layering
- 6 medium bananas, for layering (ripe please)
- For pastry cream: In heavy medium-size saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt.
- Slowly stir in the half-and-half until smooth.
- Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to boil.
- Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes.
- In a bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks.
- Slowly pour half of the hot cream mixture over the yolks and whisk to combine.
- Return the mixture to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly and being sure to stir the bottom and sides of the pan for about 5 minutes, until the cream thickens and just starts to"steam".
- Do not let it boil.
- It should heavily coat the back of the spoon.
- Remove the pan from the heat.
- Stir in 2 teaspoons of the vanilla and lemon juice.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, stir in the lemon peel, and place the bowl on a rack to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.
- Cover the bowl and chill it for about 1 hour, or until cold.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Butter the baking dish.
- Assembly: Cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with a layer of vanilla cookies and a layer of lemon cookies, using a third of the cookies in all.
- Line the sides of the dish with vanilla cookies.
- Slice 2 of the bananas and arrange them over the wafers.
- Top the bananas with a third of the chilled pastry cream.
- Make 2 more layers with the remaining cookies, bananas and pastry cream, ending with pastry cream.
- Make the Meringue: Put the egg whites in a bowl and beat until frothy using electric mixer on medium speed.
- Add the cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Slowly beat in the sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla in gently.
- Spread the meringue over the pastry cream, sealing the edges to the rim of the dish.
- Place the pudding in the preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown.
- Remove to wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then refrigerate it for 3 to 4 hours before serving.