No introduction needed for this classic of Southern cooking, always popular at all kinds of family gatherings, holidays & otherwise.
Here are two versions, an old-school cooked version, and an easy, no-bake version. The latter suitable for kids' and other kitchen novices.
1 cup milk
1 cup evaporated milk
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 bananas, sliced
Combine the milk, evaporated milk, egg yolks, sugar, flour, and salt in a sauce pan. Cook while whisking over medium heat until hot to the touch, testing with a finger. Whisk frequently until custard is thickens and form ribbons.
Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla, stirring to combine until the butter is melted.
In an oven-safe dish, place a layer of sliced bananas, and on top of that, a layer of vanilla wafers, and the pudding. Pour half of the custard over the vanilla wafers. Repeat, adding a second layer of bananas, wafers and the remaining custard.
Preheat over to 400F.
Make a meringue by beating the egg whites, cream of tartar, and powdered sugar to stiff peaks. Cover the pudding with a layer of egg whites and brown in a 400F oven for 5-10 minutes.
Serve warm if you like, or chill and serve later.
Quick-Easy No-Cook version
1 5.1 ounce package of instant vanilla pudding
3 cups milk
1/2 of an 8 ounce package of Cool Whip
Using a mixer, thoroughly combine the pudding and the milk, mixing for 2-3 minutes.
Slice the bananas. Add the Cool Whip and sliced bananas to the pudding-milk mixture and stir to combine.
Line a 13x9 (or similarly sized) dish with vanilla wafers. Be sure to include the sides of the dish.
Add the pudding-banana mixture evenly on top of the vanilla wafers.
Refrigerate until it firms up.