What snagged my attention was the banana pudding. I may possibly be the last person on the planet who's never tried banana pudding. I don't remember ever having it as a child and I'd never attempted it as an adult. But this recipe, combines with the fact that I had a fat bunch of bananas sitting on the counter convinced me to give it a whirl.
Let me warn you. This is no diet dish. Oh, yes, the good folk at Cooking Light reduced fat, calories and cholesterol, but they made it deadly delicious. It begs to be snacked on. It calls seductively when you walk by. I could actually hear it from inside the fridge. It's so good that I've made it twice. The second time 4 of us polished it off in 2 days. Oh, what little piggies we are!
So, you are warned. Don't make this dish unless you have a large family, have company coming over, or have neighbors who are happy to take your leftovers off your hands. If it's just two of you, you'll regret it!
Can't Keep My Spoon Out Of It Banana Pudding
adapted from All New Complete Cooking Light Cookbook
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups 2% milk
1 (4-inch) vanilla bean, split lengthwise (1/2 a bean if you're using one of these beans)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
80 vanilla wafers (about 1 box)*
5 cups sliced banana (about 6 bananas)
1- Preheat oven to 325 deg. F.
2- Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1-1/4 cups sugar, and salt in a large saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into milk mixture, and drop in the pod, too. Cook over medium heat 12 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly.
3- Place eggs in a large bowl; gradually add hot milk mixture, stirring constantly. Pour mixture in pan; cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Discard vanilla bean.
4- Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until egg whites are foamy. Add 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.
5 - Arrange 33 vanilla wafers in bottom of a 3-quart round baking dish (I used an oven-safe large mixing bowl). Arrange half of banana over wafers. Pour half of custard over banana. Repeat with 33 vanilla wafers, banana, and custard. Top with meringue. Arrange remaining vanilla wafers around edge of meringue.
6- Bake at 325 deg. F for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve pudding warm or chilled. Cover leftovers with plastic wrap and store refrigerated. Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup).
*Note: you can buy a box of vanilla wafers, or it you'd like to add a peanut butter flavor to your pudding make your own wafers using this recipe.
In case that kind of thing matters to you, one serving has 289 calories, 5.1 g. fat, gets 16% of the calories from fat, has 6.1 g. protein, 33 mg cholesterol, and 94 mg calcium.