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Banana Pudding

February 16, 2010

I always loved the Nilla Wafer and banana pudding that Deb Williams made for the Road Runners’ annual potlucks.  I found a recipe for it and made it once, long ago, then forgot about it again.  When I got back from my Christmas vacation, I stumbled across the recipe and made it again.  But I made a few mistakes that I set out to correct today.

The makings of Nilla Wafer/banana pudding.

The first thing that I did wrong last time was to double everything in the recipe except the Nilla Wafers.  It still tasted fine, but was just a bit of a disappointment.  The other thing was that I only had a whisk to try to beat egg whites to soft peaks, add sugar then beat them to stiff peaks for the meringue-y top.  I managed to whisk it to soft peaks and add the sugar, but then it just devolved back into a liquid, no matter how long I tried.  I left it off and everything tasted all right, but I think that it is supposed to act as a sealer against browning bananas, because they sure did go to black.

So, this time I kept it firmly in mind that I was to use lots of Nilla Wafers.

Many Nilla Wafers!

And I got a mechanical egg beater at the Italian Market to try out.

My new mechanical egg beater.

I do still have some slight issues, but they don’t seem to effect the outcome.  First, you need to separate eggs for the recipe, and I’m not especially good at that.

Mostly separated eggs.

Second, you need a double boiler to make the custard part of the recipe.  I’ve never seen a double boiler, much less seen one while it was being used.  However I was able to google how they are supposed to work, and improvised.  So, I have a pot with a strainer/steamer in the bottom with water to boil in it and a pyrex bowl inside that which holds the stuff I want to double boil.

Homemade double boiler.

It seems to work fine, and my pyrex bowl has just enough room for a double batch of this recipe.  The double boiled part requires constant stirring, however which rather steams and prune-ifies my hand.

Is this a problem with real double boilers, too?

The meringue-y top went better this time.  My soft peaks when I added the sugar were stiffer than last time.  However I never was able to get it to stiff peaks and I think I might have even started to backslide a little bit.  At that point I just put it on anyway.

Mmmm...Nilla Wafer/banana pudding!

Not, perhaps quite as aesthetically pleasing as it would have been with stiff peaks, but it seemed to seal things up nicely and tastes just fine.

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