Thursday, February 26, 2009

Banana Pudding

Ya'll, my Mamaw would have been so proud of me! I made a homemade banana pudding. Like with the pudding that you cook - not the kind you mix with milk and pour over your bananas and vanilla wafers. Which, don't get me wrong, is still some pretty good pudding. But, this pudding was great. Here is how it went down:

1 cup sugar, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup flour (I used all-purpose)
2 cups milk
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Vanilla wafer cookies
2-3 bananas, sliced

Simmer 3/4 cup of sugar, salt, flour, milk, egg yolks and vanilla in a double boiler on medium heat, continually stirring, until thickened. (Let me say to you that, no, I do not have a double boiler, but I have seen Paula Deen use a glass bowl over a pot of water so that is what I did. It worked GREAT, but beware of the steam that escapes right around the edges. Ouch!) There was one mistake I made that I want to caution you about... I did not cook my pudding quite long enough because for some reason I thought that it would "set up" after I put it all together. It didn't, so go ahead and cook it until it is really thick.

Place a layer of vanilla wafers down in your serving dish. Add a layer of sliced bananas. Continue layering until all cookies and banana slices are used. Pour pudding mixture over top.

Now, on to the meringue. Those of you who know me know that I HATE meringue, but I thought it would be an integral part of my pudding. Plus, since I was going all Paula Deen and making this homemade concoction anyway, I at least needed to try my hand at the meringue since I had never made it myself. I remember from cooking with my Mom that meringue works best in a glass bowl (completely free of and moisture), so be careful. Meringue is tricky because any little thing can "deflate" your egg whites. And no one wants soggy deflated meringue. Start beating the egg whites until foamy and then gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. You beat and beat, even if your child is yelling to turn it off because he can't hear Spongebob. Keep on beating until you get those stiff peaks you hear fancy cooks talk about. I was tickled with how mine turned out. Not too bad for a first timer, eh?

Spread your meringue on top of the pudding and bake in the oven (about 350) until the meringue is lightly browned. Don't get impatient like me and turn your broiler on to get the instant gratification of perfectly browned meringue and almost burn it... Oops... It was fine - just a little too brown!

The finished product can be served warm or cold - try it... I bet you will like it!!!

I am having so much fun with my new-found love of cooking and trying new recipes. Just last night I tried BooMama's Tater Tot Shepherd's Pie and it was a pretty big hit with me and my guys as well. Do you have any great recipes you like?

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