“Friends and family ask me to make my thick and creamy banana pudding for all occasions. They can’t get enough of the wonderful flavour of the fruit and the vanilla wafer crumbs. You can also top the classic Southern treat with meringue instead of whipped cream.” —Yvonnia Butner, Pinnacle, North Carolina
In a large heavy saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
In a bowl, whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in butter, vanilla and salt. Cool 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Reserve 1 banana and 1 cup whole wafers for topping. Crush 2 cups wafers and set aside. In a 13x9-in. baking dish, place a single layer of whole wafers, filling gaps with crushed wafers. Layer with a third of the bananas and pudding. Repeat layers twice. Press plastic onto surface of pudding. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
In a bowl, beat heavy cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar; beat until soft peaks form (do not overmix). Just before serving, spread whipped cream over pudding; top with reserved banana and wafers.