Maya Angelou’s Banana Meringue Pudding
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt
3 cups milk
8 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups vanilla wafers
4 ripe bananas, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large saucepan, combine 1/3 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt; stir until blended. Mix in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and boiling. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks, then whisk in 1/2 cup of hot custard until blended. Pour yolk mixture back into saucepan of custard; cook over medium heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in butter and vanilla until blended.
Place vanilla wafers on bottom of a shallow 2 quart casserole dish. Top with layer of banana slices and custard. Repeat layering, ending with custard.
In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and 1/4 cup sugar at low speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar; increase speed to medium and gradually beat in remaining sugar. Beat until egg whites hold stiff peaks.
Spoon meringue over hot custard immediately, making sure that meringue touches baking dish on all sides (to prevent it from shrinking). Transfer to oven and bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for at least 1 hour. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.