Below is my super-secret-but-not-that-secret-because-I'm-sharing-it-on-the-blog recipe for No Short-Cuts Banana Pudding. Here's a hint for all of you non-Southerners who live in the land of vanilla pudding mix in your banana pudding...there's not a pudding mix or box of Jell-o anywhere in this recipe. I'm taking no short-cuts so I'm making my own "custard" instead of using a mix. Once you have this...you won't want to use pudding mix anymore. Seriously, it's THAT good.
I also don't put a meringue layer on it because meringue is gross. The end.
Here's one of two secrets: it's adapted from a recipe that used to be on the back of the Nilla vanilla wafers box. The other secret is a special ingredient I add later. :)
No Short-Cuts Banana Pudding
1/2 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup flour
1 dash of salt
2 cups of milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 box of vanilla wafers
5-6 ripe bananas (3.5 cups sliced)
1 can of sweetened condensed milk (secret ingredient!!!)
1 container of whipped topping (optional)
1. Mix sugar, milk, flour, eggs, vanilla and salt into large saucepan. (Recipe calls for a double boiler but I don't have one. If you have one, by all means, use it!) Turn saucepan on medium-low and stir constantly for 10-12 minutes until thickened. I used a wisk at first to break up the flour and sugar and then switched to a spoontula. (Might have just made up that word.) You MUST keep stirring or it will burn. So, plan on standing over the stove for at least 10 minutes until it thickens.
2. Once thickened, remove from heat.
3. Add 1/3-1/2 of the can of sweetened condensed milk and fold into the custard. I tend to use between 1/3 and 1/2 but it's really to taste. The more you add, the sweeter this custard will be.
4. In a large trifle bowl or dish, cover the bottom with a single layer of vanilla wafers. Add slices of banana evenly over the wafers and then add a thin layer of the custard. Continue layering until you run out of something (probably custard). Finish with a layer of vanilla wafers or get really fancy and do whipped topping (like Cool Whip) and then add the vanilla wafers.
5. Chill at least 12 hours before serving. It's best to allow to chill for 24 hours. The wafers will soften and do their thang, and the bananas will flavor the custard and do their thang. It's just a better experience all around if you wait about a day before you serve. This will serve 6-8.