This is my mother’s recipe. It’s so good you’ll want to rub it on your face. When I was a teenager, at the homecoming lunch at church she’d always bring a big pan of it, because all the guys my age would target it. They’d go get a scoop of banana pudding before they’d get the rest of their food. It’s famous in Pitt County, North Carolina.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Place the egg yolks in a 5-quart pot. Off the heat, gently break the yolks with a fork, then add the milk, flour, 2 cups of the sugar, and the vanilla. Whisk together and place on the stovetop over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring, for about 7 to 8 minutes, or until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. The mixture will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn easily, so stir continuously. Remove the pudding from the heat.
- Whip the egg whites in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, or with a hand blender with a whisk attachment, until soft peaks form. Continue whipping while slowly adding the remaining 3⁄4 cup sugar. Whip until the meringue has stiff peaks.
- Layer half of the wafers on the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch pan. Pour half of the pudding over the wafers, spread out with a spatula, and layer with half of the banana slices. Repeat the layers. Top with the meringue, spreading it evenly. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the meringue is lightly browned. Cool slightly, but it’s best served warm or at room temperature. Leftovers can keep in the refrigerator for a day or so, but the meringue will get soggy after a while.
Reprinted with permission from Whole Hog BBQ by Sam Jones and Daniel Vaughn, copyright © 2019. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography copyright Denny Culbert.