I was perusing food blogs today, as usual, and I came across one where someone who grew up in the Midwest was extolling the virtues of southern cuisine. Pimento cheese specifically. This blogger talked about how he grew up on a diet of pretty bland fare and only discovered the wonders and variety of southern cuisine after he had reached adulthood. This got me thinking. I really need to get back to what I know and do best. What I call Southern Farmhouse cooking. There are, of course, all kinds of different southern cuisines…creole, cajun, tex-mex, then there’s the whole coastal thing from the Carolinas right on around through Key West and New Orleans and more. Southern cuisine is so varied and complex, it’s even thought of by Southerners in regions of its own.
Now, when I was growing up things were even more regionalized than they are today. People didn’t travel as widely nor did we get exotic ingredients on a regular basis in the grocery store. Also, people grew the majority of their food. Summers were as much a time for playing and enjoying being out of school as they were for “puttin’ up.” For those of you who have not yet reached a certain age, that means freezing and canning fresh produce to last through the year until the next gardening season.
But, I’m rambling again. Tend to do that more and more. Back to the topic of today’s post.
One of the things that shows up at every church dinner-on-the-grounds (if you don’t know what that is, you really aren’t from the South) and family reunion in the southern states is Banana Pudding. I’m talking about the real deal. Not any instant jello pudding with bananas, either. A banana pudding with creamy custard, sliced bananas, ‘nilla wafers and a meringue piled high on the top. And, would you believe, it takes almost no longer to make than the instant pudding kind.
Go ahead and make one for your family. They’ll love you!
Cook, uncovered, over boiling water, stirring constantly for 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
Reserve 10 wafers for garnish. Spread small amount of custard on bottom of 1 1/2-quart casserole; cover with a layer of wafers and a layer of sliced bananas.
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Spoon on top of pudding, spreading evenly to cover entire surface and sealing well to edges.
Bake at 350°F in top half of oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned. Cool slightly or refrigerate. Garnish with additional wafers and banana slices just before serving.
Makes 8 servings.
More pudding recipes you might enjoy:
- Chocolate Pudding from RecipeGirl
- Rocky Road Pudding Parfaits from Half Baked Harvest
- Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding from David Lebovitz
- Easy Vanilla Pudding from Dinner: A Love Story
- Best Butterscotch Pudding from Brown Eyed Baker