FOR THE CUSTARD
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ packed light brown sugar
½ cup cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
6 large egg yolks
4 cups whole milk, divided
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) cold butter, cubed
4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 12-oz. boxes Nilla Wafers
1 banana (not too ripe)
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
2 cups heavy cream
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
• First, make the custard: Whisk together both sugars, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks and ½ cup of the milk in a bowl until combined.
• In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, bring the remaining 3½ cups of milk to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn off the stove.
• While whisking the egg mixture in a bowl, slowly ladle in about half of the hot milk to temper the eggs. When roughly half of the hot milk is added, transfer the warmed egg mixture back into the pot over medium heat. Whisk until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in the cold butter and vanilla extract.
• Peel and mash the banana in a bowl until very smooth. Add it to the warm custard. Using either a whisk or immersion blender, thoroughly blend the banana into the custard.
• Next, assemble the pudding: Line the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with a tight layer of vanilla wafers. Ladle in 1½ cups of the custard over the cookies. Top with another tight layer of cookies. Repeat this process until you have used all of the custard, making sure the top layer is cookies.
• Finally, make the whipped cream topping: Combine the heavy cream, granulated sugar and vanilla extract, and beat with an electric mixer until soft, loose peaks form. Tip all of the whipped cream on top of the pudding and smooth it out with an offset spatula.
• Refrigerate the pudding for about 4 hours before serving.