So let me ask you... have you ever had baked banana pudding? Most folks have had all kinds of cold banana pudding. Which lets be honest... banana pudding is a yummy treat straight out of the refrigerator.
But the best version I have ever had.... is the one straight out of the oven. I recently stumble across the original recipe from Jell-O. It is their Southern Banana Pudding recipe that I use and adore. And I feel like sharing the recipe for the perfect bowl of Banana Pudding.
This is one of my standard desserts, I make to impress guest with. I have an larger older crock mixing bowl (with the lower sides) that I prepare it in. And I double the Jell-O pudding part. (I use two boxes of pudding***) This makes a big crazy size of banana pudding. But none of it is ever left over.
This is not something I will make and travel with the bowl. That bowl is too dang heavy even hauling it around the kitchen. I would never drag it out of the house packed full of pudding.
Be sure to use fresh cooked vanilla pudding. Never substitute instant pudding for the real thing. And I use Fruit Fresh on my banana's after I have sliced them up. I detest the sight of slippery brown banana slices. And those slices will start to discolor immediately. Even before you have the time to piece this dessert together. So I sprinkle Fruit Fresh on both sides. And they stay all pretty and firm. I tend to use 3 banana's also.
I finally learned how to whip egg whites and sugar properly for this recipe. Because the meringue being perfect is important to this dessert. Getting those peaks perky... make this a pretty presentation. I do remove the higher rack in the oven. I always place the crock on the lower rack, to make sure the meringue topping does not burn. Lets be honest... burnt meringue is not a good thing. Yes, I stand guard at the oven door to prevent burning.
(*** The alterations I make for this recipe is based on the bowl I am using. Be sure to eye ball the bowl you want to put it in, for the oven. To make decisions on how much pudding you are going to need...)