Source of Recipe
From "Screen Doors and Sweet Tea" by Martha Hall Foose
"I made this meringue-topped banana pudding for Oprah and her best friend, Gayle. Gayle likes hers warm (both Oprah and I find that strange), and she ate two helpings. The demure Miss Winfrey had a single serving."
List of Ingredients
◦ ¾ cup sugar
◦ ⅓ cup cake flour
◦ ¼ teaspoon salt
◦ 4 large egg yolks
◦ 2 cups whole milk
◦ ½ vanilla bean, split, or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
◦ Freshly grated nutmeg
◦ ½-inch piece of cinnamon stick
◦ Quality vanilla wafer cookies
◦ 4 medium bananas, peeled and sliced
◦ 4 large egg whites
◦ ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
◦ 5 tablespoons sugar
◦ ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the pudding. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, bring 2 inches of water to a boil. In a large stainless steel bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt. Whisk in the egg yolks, and then the milk, vanilla bean, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Place the bowl over the pan of water and cook, stirring until the mixture is thick and coats the back of a spoon, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Remove the cinnamon and vanilla bean. If using vanilla extract, stir it in now.
While the pudding is still warm, layer the cookies, bananas, and pudding in half-pint canning jars or ramekins.
Preheat the oven to 425° F.
Make the topping. Whip the egg whites in an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and slowly increase the speed as the egg whites become opaque. Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the vanilla extract. Whip until the whites form a soft peak. Spoon the meringue over the warm puddings, sealing it to the sides of the jars.
Bake the puddings for 4 minutes, or until the meringue is puffed and brown. Cool on a rack for 20 minutes, and then refrigerate for 2 hours, or until you can't stand it anymore.