A classic, billowy meringue-topped banana pudding will be right at home in your trusty cast-iron skillet.
Skillet Banana Pudding
Makes 12 servings
- 2½ cups sugar, divided
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 8 large egg yolks
- 4½ cups whole milk, divided
- 2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
- ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 60 vanilla wafers (most of 1 [11-ounce] box)
- 5 to 6 large bananas (about 2¼ pounds), peeled and sliced
- 6 large egg whites, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- In a medium bowl, whisk together 1¼ cups sugar, flour, and ¼ teaspoon salt; whisk in egg yolks and ½ cup milk. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl.
- In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, heat remaining 4 cups milk over medium heat until steaming. Gradually whisk 1 cup hot milk into egg yolk mixture; slowly whisk egg yolk mixture into remaining hot milk in skillet. Whisk in bourbon (if using). Bring milk mixture to a boil, whisking constantly; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and mixture registers at least 190° on an instant-read thermometer, 5 to 7 minutes. (Whisk should leave a trace through custard.) Remove from heat.
- Whisk cold butter and vanilla into custard in skillet until melted and well combined. Strain custard through sieve into prepared bowl. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on surface of custard; refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Clean and dry skillet; let cool completely.
- Spread one-third of custard in bottom of skillet. Layer with half of vanilla wafers and half of banana slices. Repeat layers once; spread remaining custard on top. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on surface of custard; refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.
- When almost ready to serve, fill a small saucepan with water to a depth of 1½ inches, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together egg whites, cream of tartar, remaining 1¼ cups sugar, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Place bowl from stand mixer on top of saucepan. Heat egg white mixture, stirring often, until mixture registers 160° on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes.
- Place bowl on stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until bowl returns to room temperature and meringue forms glossy, stiff peaks, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Uncover skillet; spread meringue on top, leaving a ½-inch border of custard around skillet. Brown meringue using a kitchen torch, if desired. Serve immediately.
It’s best to use your most seasoned skillet for this recipe. If storing for longer than one night, transfer leftovers to an airtight container. If left in the skillet for several days, banana pudding may take on a metallic flavor. Meringue may weep slightly as it sits but will still be tasty.
Click to the next page for our step-by-step instructions for assembling banana pudding.