Maya Angelou's Man-Winning Banana Pudding/Banana Pie W. Meringue

"I found this recipe in the October 2004 issue of O magazine. I love to cook the recipes of people I greatly admire--in a small way, to share something simple with them! I'm looking forward to trying Abraham Lincoln's favorite cake. This would be good as a banana pie in a zwieback [crushed zwiebacks and melted butter] crust, too, I suspect..."
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Ready In:
5hrs 30mins




  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a large saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt; stir until blended.
  • Mix in milk.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and boiling; boil 1 minute and remove from heat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks. Then whisk in about 1/2 cup of the hot custard until blended. Pour yolk mixture back into the saucepan of custard; cook over medium heat, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in butter and vanilla until blended.
  • Place vanilla wafers [these could be crushed in a large bag with a rolling pin] on the bottom of a shallow 2-quart casserole dish.
  • Top with layers of banana slices and custard.
  • Repeat layering, ending with custard.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites that are at room temperature with 1/4 cup sugar at low speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar; increase speed to medium and gradually beat in remaining sugar. Beat until egg whites hold stiff peaks.
  • Spoon meringue over hot custard immediately, making sure the meringue touches the baking dish on all sides (this prevents shrinking).
  • Transfer to oven and bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove pudding from oven and cool 1 hour.
  • Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

Questions & Replies

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  1. 1/2 (.5) + 1/4 (0.25)= 3/4 (.75) CUPS OF SUGAR. "In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites that are at room temperature with 1/4 cup sugar at low speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar; increase speed to medium and gradually beat in REMAINING SUGAR Beat until egg whites hold stiff peaks." The remaining sugar is the 1 tablespoon.
  2. I do not see where the additional 1 tablespoon of sugar gets used. What am I missing?
  3. so easy - even DH did do it! That's not really fair to DH who actually purused Zaar for Mooshy foods to aid my recovery from painful periodontal work. This is a delicious recipe that was eye-poppingly lovely when he showed it off in the pyrex pan - showing off the layers as well as the perfectly browned meringue! He actually made it before work! Additionally he made it EXACTLY as posted - he is much more assiduous about following recipe directions. Wonderful, unctuous & not too sweet - this really aided in my recovery several weeks ago! I was suprised to read the custard wasn't cooled to room temp before layering with the bananas - I prefer my banana to stay firm & they suprisingly did even with the hot custard. I will make this again (may let custard cool a bit to avoid the dreaded cooked banana) - for guests as well because the presentation (and the taste) is homey perfection! Thank you for posting, Carrie!


56, an Army brat who has lived in 20 different locations [born in germany, went to kindergarten in japan] including new york city, palo alto CA, maine, georgia, chicago, after growing up in small-town kansas... have some fabulous recipes from well-traveled army people... recently started adding just a splash of bourbon or brandy to real maple syrup - and it really gives french toast or pancakes a special, more sophisticated flavor... a friend jokes that bourbon is my new "secret ingredient" that i'll be adding to everything - it's not true but i'm telling you - you should try it! it's really very good [for adults, anyway] sugarpea's apple pancake recipe is a deadringer for Walker Brothers Pancake House in north shore Chicago - i've searchd for this for 34 years - and it's easy as well as To Die For!!! the Dutch Baby pancake is a huge seller there too - with the same gooey comfort-food but elegant batter... also if you search for lettuce wrap - the 2 recipes for PF Chang's come up... this is also SO GOOD, truly a memorable entree... for cookbooks: With a Jug of Wine, More Recipes With a Jug of Wine were written by the San Francisco Chronicle food writer decades ago - and most everything in them is superb - and i learned a lot as a new cook, young wife, from reading through them in the late 1970s... i got a [very French] sense of food as a way of life
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