This was, indeed, the first time I've ever made banana pudding. Mostly because I hate banana pudding. BUT I seem to be the only one in the house that feels that way about it, so I decided now was as good a time as any. My husband insists that my personal motto is "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing." In that vein, I give you: Roasted Banana Pudding
Follow the above link for the recipe, in Feast Magazine. Since the original recipe made a LOT of pudding, I made two modifications. First, I halved the recipe. Second, I left out the banana liqueur and used 2 whole roasted bananas, rather than trying to fuss with roasting half a banana. Roasted bananas end up looking like this:
I suspect cutting it in half would have resulted in a lot of mess. As it was, I was glad I'd lined the pan with parchment paper, as directed. This is a complicated recipe with lots of steps. So by the time I got around to making the pudding, my youngest was in bed. I took a stick blender to the bananas, so that I could take it downstairs and not wake her. I still ended up with a pretty smooth pudding, though using a blender would probably have made it smoother, yet.
Once the pudding had cooled, I started layering. Since my girls are on a gluten-free diet, I used homemade gingersnaps (go back one post from here for the recipe)
Then layered the puddings and fresh banana slices.
Make sure the last layer is pudding, so the bananas are sealed and won't darken. The last step was the fun bit for me - meringue. I was multitasking, as usual, and my mixer bowl was occupied. Which meant that, for the first time in years, I made meringue with my handmixer. Wow. For just a bit, I thought that I'd gotten a little grease into the bowl, but patience won out and eventually I got to medium peaks.
Then, I piled the meringue on top of the puddings and pulled up with the back of a spoon all over the surface.
Finally, I got out my husband's propane torch and caramelized the surface of the meringues. (Don't do this until just before you serve. They don't keep) This was much more fun than the time I toasted the seven-minute frosting on cupcakes. Mostly because ceramic ramekins don't catch fire the way cupcake wrappers do. Oops.
The rest of the family thought these were fabulous. Mission accomplished!