Banana pudding is about as much of a comfort food in the south as it is a dessert. One that everyone always looks forward to digging into to get the perfect ratio of vanilla wafers, pudding and bananas.
Grandmother always made hers with a towering meringue on top of the pudding that was light as air and the perfect combination with the rich banana pudding. She would ask my sister and me to help make her banana pudding for dessert so many times when we were young girls. It was a request I don’t remember ever tiring of agreeing. She would ask one of us to carefully line the glass bowl with the vanilla wafers while the other sliced the bananas. We each had an important job and the banana pudding just wouldn’t work without both of us completing our tasks with care.
Or so we thought.
While we were consumed with our duties, Grandmother was busily cooking the pudding on her stovetop. She loved to chat as she cooked, asking us about our day, telling us about when she would help her Mother cook, or telling us about a bird she saw when she went to the garden earlier. Her voice was always as sweet and velvety as the pudding she was stirring.
Once we had our vanilla wafers and banana slices layered just as she instructed, she would ask us to step back as she poured the hot pudding over them. Within minutes following, she would have her egg whites beaten to a perfect salute and would be carefully spreading her meringue on top of the pudding. Into the oven it would go for my sister and me to run and stare through the glass door in the oven as the banana pudding magically browned.
That night for supper, we were anxious for everyone to taste “our” banana pudding because we knew it tasted just as good as Grandmother’s.
Here is how she made it.
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