BANANA PUDDING, SOUTHERN STYLE (not a diet food)
3/4 C sugar
1/3 C flour (not self-rising)
dash of salt
3 eggs, separated
2 C milk
1 t vanilla extract
45 Vanilla Wafers…yes, you have to count them!
5 bananas, sliced
Heat oven to 350F.
Mix flour, salt, and 1/2 Cup sugar in the top of a double boiler. Blend in 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten. Add milk. Cook, uncovered, over boiling water for 10-12 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and stir.
Set aside 12 Vanilla Wafers; they will be used as a garnish.
Working in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish, spread a small amount of the custard on the bottom of the dish. Add a layer of Vanilla Wafers. Then add a layer of sliced bananas. Then a layer of the custard. Repeat the layers twice more. (Note: It’s a good idea to use a clear glass oven-proof bowl for making this so everyone can see the layers.)
Beat the egg whites at high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar, keep beating until stiff peaks form. Spread the eggs whites over the custard, remember to seal all the way to the edges of the baking dish.
Bake. Keep an eye on it. You want the egg whites to just get a nice even brown, don’t let it burn. It might take 5 minutes, or maybe a few more minutes. Just keep watching for the nice brown color. Remove from oven. Let it cool a while. Refrigerate. Add the 12 Vanilla Wafers on top and serve.
ARROWROOT VANILLA PUDDING
(I like arrowroot because it doesn’t have a taste like flour or cornstarch.)
2 1/2 C milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 C honey, maple syrup or sugar
4 T arrowroot powder
1/4 t salt
1-2 T butter
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
Working in a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, milk, sweetener, arrowroot powder, and salt.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until pudding begins to thicken. Cook and stir 15-20 more seconds. Arrowroot works very fast to thicken.
Remove from heat, continue to stir until pudding is creamy. A spoon can be used to stir but a wire whisk makes creamier pudding.
Add butter and vanilla, stir until mixed.
Pour into serving dishes. Pudding can be served warm or cold. Don’t forget about the skin. Your choice, cover or don’t cover.
For more information about using arrowroot, check this link:
VANILLA PUDDING WITHOUT EGGS
2 1/2 C whole milk (half milk/half cream may be used)
3 T cornstarch
dash of salt
2 t vanilla extract
2 T butter (unsalted is best; if using salted butter, omit the dash of salt mentioned earlier)
Working in a heavy-bottom saucepan, pour 2 Cups of milk, sugar, and salt. Medium-low heat. Cook and stir just until mixture begins to steam. Do not boil.
In a bowl combine cornstarch and remaining milk, blend so there are no lumps. Add the cornstarch mixture to the hot milk mixture, stirring constantly until it starts to thicken. It should almost but not quite come to a boil. Reduce heat to low/very low, cook and stir for 5 minutes more. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla.
(I cheat and place the milk and cornstarch into a shaker jar, the kind used to make homemade powdered protein drinks, then pour through a strainer into the hot mixture while stirring constantly.)
This next part may start a fight at your house. Spoon hot pudding into small glass serving dishes. Immediately cover each dish with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on top of the pudding. That’s where the fight comes in. Some of us actually like that skin.