Gather Your Ingredients and Tools
Before you start making your banana pudding, it’s important to gather all the necessary ingredients and tools to make the process smoother. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
- 1 box of vanilla wafers
- 3-4 ripe bananas
- 2 cups of whole milk
- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 4 egg whites
- 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
- Medium saucepan
- Mixing bowl
- Electric mixer
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 9×13 inch baking dish
Make sure all your ingredients are fresh and at room temperature before you begin. Having everything ready and within reach will make the process of making your banana pudding much easier and enjoyable.
Make the Vanilla Pudding Base
The vanilla pudding is the foundation of your banana pudding. Here’s how to make it:
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of flour, and 1/4 tsp of salt.
- In a separate bowl, beat 4 egg yolks and 2 cups of whole milk together until well combined.
- Gradually pour the egg mixture into the sugar mixture, whisking constantly until everything is combined.
- Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens and begins to boil (this should take about 10-12 minutes).
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
- Let the pudding cool for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.
Your vanilla pudding base is now ready to be used in your banana pudding. You can also refrigerate the pudding if you’re not ready to assemble your banana pudding yet.
Layer the Pudding and Banana Slices
Now that you have your vanilla pudding base ready, it’s time to layer it with banana slices and vanilla wafers. Here’s how to do it:
- Begin by placing a layer of vanilla wafers on the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.
- Next, slice 3-4 ripe bananas and layer them on top of the vanilla wafers.
- Pour half of the vanilla pudding over the banana layer, spreading it evenly.
- Repeat the layers of vanilla wafers, banana slices, and the remaining vanilla pudding.
- Finish with a final layer of vanilla wafers on top.
Make sure to evenly spread the pudding over each layer of banana and vanilla wafers. You can also add more or fewer banana slices depending on your preference. Once you’ve finished layering, move on to making the meringue topping.
Whip Up the Meringue Topping
A creamy and fluffy meringue topping adds the perfect finishing touch to your banana pudding. Here’s how to make it:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- In a mixing bowl, beat 4 egg whites and 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy.
- Gradually add 1/4 cup of sugar, beating constantly, until stiff peaks form and the mixture is glossy.
- Spread the meringue evenly over the top layer of vanilla wafers.
- Use a spoon or spatula to create peaks and swirls in the meringue.
Make sure the meringue covers the entire top layer of vanilla wafers and touches the sides of the baking dish to prevent it from shrinking during baking. Once you’ve created your desired peaks and swirls, your banana pudding is ready to be baked.
Assemble and Chill the Banana Pudding
The final step in making your banana pudding is to assemble and chill it. Here’s what you need to do:
- Place your assembled banana pudding in the preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 30-45 minutes.
- Once the banana pudding has cooled, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
- When ready to serve, cut the banana pudding into squares and garnish with extra vanilla wafers and banana slices.
Chilling the banana pudding allows the flavors to meld together and the pudding to set. It also makes it easier to cut into squares. Your delicious banana pudding is now ready to be enjoyed!