Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

Here's a recipe that takes me back to my childhood. Enjoy! 

1/2 cup sugar + 3 tablespoons sugar (divided)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
4 large eggs, separated
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups vanilla wafers
4 ripe bananas, sliced
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small saucepan, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add in milk and egg yolks. Whisk together until well blended. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 5-7 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Line a 9-inch square pan with half of the vanilla wafers.Top with half of the bananas and half of the pudding. Repeat layers with remaining wafers, bananas, and pudding. 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, cream of tarter and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pudding, sealing to the edge of the pan. Bake for 7-10 minutes until meringue is golden brown. Cool for 30 minutes. Serve warm or chilled. Serves 6-8.
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