Everyone that I know loves the Original Banana Pudding recipe that’s posted on the side of most Nabisco vanilla wafer boxes and that’s the one that I usually make. It is the one that I used in my classroom for our last lab of the year, but with a deterrents thrown our way I was not sure that we could pull it off. With a fire drill and advisement making the class almost too short to have anything but a glass of milk with vanilla wafers and sliced bananas I had to come up with something or just ditch the lab altogether. At the last-minute I decided to try speeding up the custard by using the microwave. It worked perfectly for me —TWICE! Seven minutes is all it took and that really beats standing over a double boiler for about thirty minutes. Which meant that my classes could get their Banana Pudding in the oven in less than an hour and still have time to enjoy it in the classroom.
To get this perfectly straight I did start the custard in a double boiler for about five minutes until all of the ingredients were very well mixed. Then I popped it into the microwave. My glass double boiler made it even easier. No transferring to another bowl. Now to make a very long story short only four out of the eleven groups had great custard. The rest unfortunately were lumpy. That did not deter them from eating the pudding. In fact after layering the custard with cookies and bananas you could not tell in the least that it was lumpy. The moral of the story – if you choose to shorten the cooking time by using the microwave make sure that all the ingredients are completely mixed. As a backup stop the cooking process every two minutes and stir well.
Now back to the new recipe. My students absolutely loved it. They raved that the Banana Pudding Pie was so much better than the original. The custard recipe is almost the same. Maybe a little richer with a few more eggs. I think that the crust makes a huge difference. It is made from almost an entire box of vanilla wafers with the addition of a stick of butter. Yes, that’s correct an entire stick. It is just over the top!
A few side notes to think about when preparing this recipe:
- Really work the crumbs and butter crust up the side of the pie plate. Your crust will be even and you will need the room for the filling.
- While the crust is cooling make the custard. It took mine 40 minutes from start to finish to thicken. The recipe said 10 minutes.
- Let the pie chill for at least 4 hours before cutting it to get really pretty slices.
- After 1 day the wafers around the edge get soggy. ( My students liked them soggy, though)
- It is really difficult getting each slice out. It is easier if some of the butter in the crust melts. I melted it by placing the pie plate on a hot towel that I warmed in the microwave. First dampen a kitchen towel with water and squeezing out excess water. Place in the microwave for a couple of minutes until it is steamy and hot.
Make the crust first with cookie crushed in the food processor and 1 stick of melted butter. Bake.
This is the crust after baking.
Milk, eggs, flour, and sugar in a sauce pan. Cook over medium low temperature for about 40 minutes or until thick. Your cook top may vary wildly from mine and it could take less time to thicken. I started timing as soon as I put the saucepan on the range. Just be sure to watch this carefully as it will scorch in no time.
Pudding should look like this when ready to remove from heat.
After the crust as cooled for 30 minutes place a sliced banana in the bottom.
Add 1/2 of the custard and 1 more sliced banana.
Pour the rest of the custard on top.
Then add the beautiful meringue.
Here is the meringue piled on top.
Swirl the meringue with the back of a spoon.
Banana Pudding Pie Southern Living Makes 8 servings
- 1 12-oz box vanilla wafers, divided
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 large bananas, sliced
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Set aside 30 wafers for the filling, decoration, and to sprinkle on top.
- Pulse the remaining vanilla wafers in a food processor 8 to 10 times until coarsely crushed.
- Stir crushed vanilla wafers with melted butter.
- Firmly press on bottom, up sides, and on the lip of a 9-inch pie plate.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Remove to a wire rack and cool 30 minutes or until completely cool.
- Whisk together 3/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 2 large eggs, 4 egg yolks, and 2 cups milk in a heavy saucepan.
- Cook over medium low heat, whisking constantly until it reaches the consistency of chilled pudding. Mine took 40 minutes from the time I put it on the heat to thicken. The heat on my range is measured from 10 being the hottest to 0 being the lowest. I used 7.
- Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Use immediately.
- Arrange 1 cut banana on the bottom of crust.
- Spread half of hot filling over bananas.
- Top with 20 of the vanilla wafers.
- Spread remaining hot filling over vanilla wafers. The filling will be about 1/4 inch higher that the top edge of the crust.
- Beat egg whites at high-speed with an electric mixer until foamy.
- Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves.
- Spread meringue evenly over hot filling, sealing the edges.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10 -12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven.
- Let the pie cool for 1 hour on a wire rack. Coarsely crush remaining 10 vanilla wafers, and sprinkle evenly over the top of pie. Add some wafers around the edge for decoration.
- Chill for 4 hours before cutting. Dip the blade of the knife into cold water or coat with vegetable oil for a neater cut.