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Sally Field (b. 1946), U.S. actor. Mrs. Gump, in film; Forrest Gump.

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This tried and true, purely Southern treat is sure to be found on the table at every family gathering. Be sure to use very ripe, spotted bananas for the best flavor. If you only have access to "normal" hard, yellow bananas and have the time, place them in a paper bag in a dark place for a day or two. They'll ripen right up. Oh, and don't even think about using boxed pudding mix!

Preparation Time: 1 Hour    Serving Size: 8

  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided into 1/2 and 1/4 cups
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • dash of salt
  • 4 eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 box Nilla Wafers®
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 7 ripe bananas, sliced

Heat oven to 425°. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, flour and salt in a saucepan. Add egg yolks and milk. Whisk together until well combined. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until thickened. Occasionally whisk to prevent lumps. Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Spread a small amount of custard on the bottom of a tall 2 quart casserole. Cover with a layer of Nilla Wafers®. Top with a layer of bananas. Pour a third of the custard over the bananas. Continue to layer wafers, bananas and custard to make three layers of each, ending with custard. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and beat until stiff. Top the casserole with the meringue and bake for 4 to 5 minutes until meringue is golden-brown.

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