There are few things that Mr.W cooks. But what he makes, he makes well. Banana pudding is one of them.
His office periodically has "bring in food days," where they sign up for a course/item and bring it in to share. He recently brought this in--it was devoured before 8:30 am. Obviously these are some hungry, hungry people.
The recipe is adapted from the original written on the back of the box of Nilla Wafers. I won't repost the recipe here--rather, I'll give you Mr.W's notes:
- Double the custard and meringue amounts. Do not double the amount of banana or cookies. Still use a 1-1/2 quart casserole or square pyrex baking dish.
- Use four times the vanilla extract. We use my homemade stuff. (I think banana schnapps would be a good use for half of that, too!)
- Use all cookies to layer within the pudding; don't bother with reserving any for garnish--the perfectly browned and generous amount of meringue is garnish enough.
- Spread the meringue all the way to the edges and seal the pudding completely underneath.
- Use electric beaters or whisk attachment to a stick blender when making the pudding in a double-boiler (or, as he does, in a stainless bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water).
- Let your pudding completely come to room temperature before covering and refrigerating to avoid those brown dots of condensation atop the meringue.
- We often have leftover meringue--this is wonderful to pipe out some garnish-type decorations on the top of the pudding, or on a seperate cookie sheet for use later. Or just snarfing over the kitchen sink.