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Happy Mother's Day

May 1st is my Mother’s birthday. Her generation was so secretive about their age! People were always trying to find out how old she was! In the 1970’s, when I was in my 40’s, she told me to stop telling people how old I was because they could figure out her age! The photo shown here is my Mother and me in 1934.

Mother was equally secretive about her recipes! Her reputation for cooking and baking was unsurpassed. But she would not “share” her recipes! That is, with anyone except me. When I started writing cookbooks in the 1960s, I put some of her recipes in my cookbooks.

This month I’d like to share one of my most prized recipes of hers because it is the one that “sealed the deal” with my future husband, Emery Evans! Banana pudding was his absolute favorite dessert and my Mother made the best! The old fashioned cooked pudding is the one I’m sharing with you this month.

A little voice in my head says, “Oh No!”…Do you suppose it’s her voice? Anyway, it far surpasses the modern “instant” kind of banana pudding! And just maybe it will “seal the deal” with someone you love, too!  So here is my Mother’s recipe for

Banana Pudding.  Bon Appetit!

Mother’s Banana Pudding


¼ granulated sugar

3½ Tbsp. cornstarch

 ½ tsp. salt

2½ cups whole milk

3 egg yolks

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 Tbsp. butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 or 4 ripe bananas (ripe but not brown)

3 egg whites

6 Tbsp. granulated sugar

½  tsp. vanilla extract

Vanilla wafers

Combine the ¼ cup sugar, cornstarch and salt in the top of a double boiler. Add the milk gradually, stirring constantly. (I use a whisk). Cook, over boiling water, until thickened, stirring constantly.


Beat the egg yolks and the ¼ cup sugar with a fork till pale yellow.  Add a little of the hot mixture and pour the egg yolk/hot mixture into the rest of the hot mixture. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add the 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tsp. vanilla. Cool.


When cool put a little of the pudding on bottom of serving dish (a round 2 qt. pyrex dish is nice), then put a layer of sliced bananas, then half of the pudding, a second layer of bananas, and the rest of the pudding. For looks, put some vanilla wafers, in a single row all around the edge of the bowl, - round side facing inside.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees


Make the meringue. Beat the 3 egg whites until almost stiff, adding the 6 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat until stiff. Spread meringue evenly over pudding and bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.


Let cool completely on a wire rack and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.


Note: The reason you add the sugar slowly is so the sugar is dissolved. When you see “beads” on meringue after it’s baked, it’s because the sugar was not dissolved.



For more of Mother's goodies, also see:
Mother's Brownies, October 2010
Mother's Seasoned Salt, August 2011
Mother's Hot Mexican Cornvread, January 2013
Dumplings for Beef Stew, Mother's Puffy, March 2017
Mother's Swiss Steak, March 2018
Always read a recipe completely through before starting to bake. You get a mental picture making it easier to follow the directions.
Assemble and measure out each of the ingreciants before you start, - putting away each after use.
Give your oven plenty of time to heat up and use an oven thermometer.  In many cases, the one on the stove is not accurate.
Recipe Archives
May, 2018