• Never pour hot custard over bananas—they’ll get mushy. Wait until the custard has cooled a bit before assembling the pudding.
• Be sure to follow the instructions to spread the meringue all the way to the edges of the baking dish, so the pudding won’t shrink and develop holes as it bakes.
• Always make more pudding than you think you’ll need. This is a crowd-pleaser, and it tends to go fast.
Except for a few style changes, the following recipe is the same as the one that’s printed on the side panel of the Nilla Wafers box.
3/4 c. sugar, divided
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
dash of salt
3 eggs, separated
2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
45 Nilla Wafers, divided
5 ripe bananas, sliced, divided
Mix 1/2 c. sugar, the flour, and salt in the top of a double boiler. Blend in 3 egg yolks and milk. Cook uncovered over boiling water, stirring constantly, for 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.Set aside 10 wafers for topping.
Spread small amount of custard on bottom of a 1 1/2-qt. casserole; cover with layer of wafers and layer of bananas. Pour about 1/3 of custard over bananas. Continue to layer wafers, bananas, and custard to make a total of 3 layers of each, ending with custard.
Beat 3 egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/4 c. sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Spoon on top of custard, spreading to cover entire surface and sealing to edges.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until top of pudding is browned. Cool slightly, or refrigerate several hours until chilled. Top with reserved wafers.
From the March 2004 issue.