David Guas, a New Orleans native, remembers this comforting dessert from his childhood. It's a spectacularly creamy banana pudding topped with a crumble made from vanilla wafer cookies. (Recipe adapted from DamGoodSweet.)Southern Comfort Foods
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons banana liqueur (optional)
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter plus 1 tablespoon melted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup vanilla wafer cookies (about 15), coarsely ground
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 bananas, coarsely chopped
How to Make It
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the cornstarch, the 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Gradually whisk the milk into the egg yolks until smooth. Transfer the pudding mixture to the saucepan and add the banana liqueur. Cook over moderate heat, whisking, until the pudding is thick, about 3 minutes. Scrape the pudding into a bowl and whisk in the cold butter and vanilla. Cover with plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine the wafers, cinnamon, the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar and a pinch of salt. Stir in the melted butter. Spread the crumble on the prepared baking sheet; bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool.
Spoon the chopped bananas into bowls. Top with the pudding, sprinkle with the crumble and serve right away.
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