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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Best-Ever Banana Pudding

I have always liked everything in a Banana Pudding, except for the bananas.  Now, I like a banana sandwich on two slices of bread smeared with mayonnaise but don't like slices of banana in the pudding.  Mrs. Herring liked to make a Bakeless Banana Pudding and she would always make me a bowl without bananas.  Believe me, I never had any mother-in-law jokes to tell about her!  For a long time, I chose not to make a Banana Pudding.  However, I always make desserts to take to my parents home whenever the family was having a get together and with it being summertime it just seemed like a Banana Pudding would be the dessert of choice.  I had a recipe from Southern Living for Best-Ever Banana Pudding that I had saved and wanted to try and was glad I did.  I did make a little change in the recipe, though.  Instead of sliced bananas, I mashed the bananas and then whipped them with the mixer, so that they were smooth.  Everyone loved it.  I was so proud of myself for learning to make a Banana Pudding with bananas. 

                                                   Best-Ever Banana Pudding

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
dash of salt
1 - 14 oz. can Eagle Brand Milk
2 1/2 cups milk
4 large eggs, separated
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 - 12 oz. package Nilla Wafers
6 large ripe bananas
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine first 3 ingredients in a heavy saucepan.  Whisk together milk and egg yolks; stir into dry ingredients.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until smooth and thickened.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.  Arrange 1/3 of vanilla wafers in bottom of a 3 quart baking dish.  Mash ripe bananas in a bowl and then whip with an electric mixer; set aside.  Spoon 1/3 of mashed bananas over vanilla wafers.  Pour 1/3 of pudding mixture over bananas.  Repeat layers twice, arranging remaining vanilla wafers around outside edge of dish.  Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy.  Add 1/3 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves (2 to 4 min.).  Fold in vanilla extract; spread over pudding, sealing to edge.

Bake at 325 degrees for 25 min. or until golden brown.

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