🍓 A Tasty Recipe
There’s Easy Southern Banana Pudding Pie and then there’s Homemade from scratch Southern Banana Pudding Pie.
What’s the difference? Time, effort and the tender loving care that goes into making any thing from scratch by your own hands. “Baking with Love for those you Love” is what my paternal Grandmother called it.
My Dad’s mom wouldn’t be caught dead making something from a box. She’d spend hours in the kitchen, shuffling back and forth between the pantry, the counters and the stove. And her house always smelled so inviting, warm and wonderful.
She and my Grandfather raised 3 boys, until WWII. The middle son, was killed in action in his tank in Germany. Within a year, my Grandfather too had left this world. But even with grown sons, my Grandmother still worked in her garden, canned, cooked and baked. She never had much to dote on her grandchildren. But my sisters and I, who were her only grandkids were treated with some of the best down home cooking you could ever want when we went to visit.
Where as my Mom’s mom was widowed early in her life and raised 8 kids by herself. My Dad’s side and my Mom’s side were both literally and figuratively from opposite sides of the tracks. They were sharecroppers; if you don’t know what that is, it’s a family who lives on someone else’s land and works the land for crops. They are paid a small amount from the harvest. It’s a very hard life and no one ever got rich doing it. Cooking from scratch when you had an easy way to fix the same dish, was a luxury. The easy method was a necessity of time and sometimes cost.
Between the two methods, I preferred my maternal Grandmother’s Easy Banana Pudding pie. Probably because I don’t care much for Meringue.
If you want the “real” Southern Banana Pudding Pie from scratch method, this is the recipe and it’s topped with Meringue and “Baked with Love for those you Love”.
Both of my grandmothers always told me you always mix all your dry ingredients together in one bowl, and the wet in another. This way you make sure your ingredients are mixed together well before combining. The worst thing you can do is add dry ingredients to a wet mixture one at a time. You’ll often get a clump of salt on one side of your cake, and who wants that?!
- 1 ½ c sugar
- ¼ c all-purpose flour
- 2 c milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tspn vanilla
- 3 tspns margarine
- 3 bananas sliced
- 1 box Nilla Wafers
Some people leave out the tartar; my Grandmother says NEVER leave it out, it helps thicken the topping.
- 3 egg whites
- ¼ tspn cream of tartar
- ¼ cup sugar
Take your time! Don’t try to rush through baking from scratch. Part of the process is being patient, doing each thing correctly and as needed with as much time that’s necessary.
- Combine the dry ingredients together in a medium soup pot.
Before you put it on the stove.
- Once combined, place the pot on low medium heat and fold in the milk.
Do NOT leave the pot unattended.
- Separate the eggs (yolks from whites; and save the whites). Then slightly beat the egg yolks and fold them into the pot mixture.
- Add the margarine and cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens.
Note: No you can’t raise the temperature and cook it faster. The pudding thickens through slow cooking; not heat cooking.
- Once the pudding has thickened to your desired consistency, remove it from the heat and add the vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
- While the filling is cooling: line the bottom of a glass dish with wafers, flat side down.
Note: For what kind of dish to use, read the “Directions: Choosing Your Dish” on the Easy Banana Pudding Pie recipe.
- Peel one banana and cut off the pointed end. My grand mother always let me eat that bit. Slice the banana into 1/2 inch thick pieces. Place 1 piece of banana on top of each wafer.
- Line the sides of the dish with wafers, flat side in.
The rounded part of the wafer should be what you see when you look through the glass. Placing the bananas on top of the wafers that line the bottom of the dish first, will help the wafers you want on the sides stand up.
Note: Maw always said never leave a gap on the bottom or the sides. But don’t cut a wafer to fit in a space, simply overlap the wafer as needed with its neighbor.
- If you want to add more banana to the pudding, you can cut another one into cubes and mix it into the filling at this point.
- Carefully spoon half the pudding onto the banana and wafers in the dish. Being careful not to get too much pudding between the glass and the wafers on the side. The pudding should push the wafers against the glass and fill in the gap around them. Set the remainder of the pudding aside.
- Place about 15 to 20 wafers in a bowl and crush them up. They should be some what chunky, mixed with some powdered. Take this and sprinkle it on top of the pudding. You’re making a layer of wafers across the whole thing, so you want enough crushed up to cover the whole dish. My Grandmother, Mom and I like it as a thick layer. Thick or think, it’s really your choice.
- Line the banana slices you set aside earlier, on top of the sprinkled wafer layer.
- Cover the top with the rest of the pudding you set aside in the earlier step.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. This is best done with a mixer on medium speed.
- Once the whites are foamy, gradually fold in the 1⁄3 cup sugar and cream of tartar.
- Beat for about 2 minutes or until the whites become stiff.
- Spread the meringue over the top of the banana pudding dish making sure to completely cover the entire top.
- Bake for 15 minutes or just until meringue is slightly browned on top.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
- Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Serve cold.
If you don’t like meringue either, you can mixed these two family recipes together. I prefer the whip cream topping on the homemade pudding. To do this, you still have to cook the pudding, but you do it without the topping. Remove the pie from the oven and let cool as directed. Place in the fridge to chill. When you take the pudding pie out for serving, that’s when you can add the whip cream. You simply want the pie to be completely cooled and somewhat chilled before adding the whip cream.
Oh and both my Grandmothers agree: Serve cold on a small dessert plate. You never use a bowl. I don’t know why, but they both said it; so I always do it. It looks better on a plate anyway.