homemade banana pudding
this pudding is just like my grandma used to make, with layers of banana, vanilla wafers, whipped cream, and from-scratch vanilla pudding
To make the pudding:
In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and seeds from the vanilla bean. Set aside.
Add 2 cups of the milk and the scraped vanilla pod to a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil.
While the milk is heating, slowly add the remaining 2/3 cup of milk into the sugar and cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Then whisk in the egg.
After the milk is bubbling slowly, slowly whisk about 2/3 cup of the hot milk into the cornstarch mixture. This will slowly raise the temperature of the eggs. Once the mixture is warm, slowly pour it back into the saucepan and return it to a simmer.
Once the mixture is simmering, let it cook for 1-2 minutes, or until it starts to thicken. Strain the pudding through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps.
Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the pudding and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.
Add a layer of pudding to a small serving dish (the glasses in these photos are stemless martini glasses). Top with a layer of bananas and several vanilla cookies. Add a thin layer of whipped cream and a second layer of pudding. Top with more bananas and cookies. Finish with a final layer of whipped cream. For best flavor, refrigerate for at least a few hours before serving, to let the cookies soften.
The banana pudding can also be assembled in a large trifle or casserole dish and spooned out to serve.