1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk – see note
3 large eggs yolks
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-4 bananas, ripe, mashed
dash of nutmeg
1/2 banana sliced, for serving
Put 1 inch of water in bottom of double boiler and bring to a simmer. In the top bowl of a double-boiler, combine the sugar, salt, and flour; stir to blend. Slowly stir in milk or half-and-half until smooth. Place bowl on bottom pot of double boiler containing just simmering water. Cook, whisking often, until the mixture begins to thicken.
In a small bowl, whisk the 3 egg yolks. Gradually, so as not to cook the yolks, whisk in about 1 cup of the slightly thickened hot milk mixture. (This is called tempering the yolks.) Pour the warmed egg mixture into the milk in the double boiler, stir in the vanilla and butter, and continue whisking constantly. Cook until custard is thick and smooth, scraping bottom frequently. Gently fold in mashed banana. Remove from heat, let cool slightly. Pour into dessert cups. Decorate with a sprinkle of nutmeg, a piece of sliced banana and a sprig of mint.
If you want to serve warm, serve immediately otherwise place custard cups in refrigerator and let chill until cold. The pudding is best the day after making it.
Note: Using half-and-half, or evaporated milk, makes a richer pudding.
Variations on Traditional Banana Custard Pudding:
Coconut Banana Pudding: Use coconut milk as 1/3 of the milk for the custard, and stir 3/4 cup shredded coconut into the custard. Complete recipe as above.