Fruit of the Week: Banana pt. 5

Preparation and Serving:
– Bananas are cooked in ways that are similar to potatoes (fried, boiled, baked, or chipped and have similar taste and texture when served)
– Bananas are eaten deep fried, baked in their skin in a split bamboo, or steamed in glutinous rice wrapped in a banana leaf
– Bananas can be made into jam
Banana pancakes are popular amongst backpackers and other travelers in South Asia and Southeast Asia
– Banana chips are a snack produced from sliced dehydrated or fried banana or plantain, which have a dark brown color and an intense banana taste
– Dried bananas are also ground to make banana flour
– Extracting juice is difficult, because when a banana is compressed, it turns to pulp
– Pisang goreng, bananas fried with batter, is a popular dessert in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia
– A similar dish is known in the United Kingdom and United States as banana fritters
– Plantains are used in various stews and curries or cooked, baked or mashed in much the same way as potatoes
– Banana hearts (flower of the banana plant) are used as a vegetable in South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine, either raw or steamed with dips or cooked in soups, curries and fried foods
– In Indonesian cuisine, banana leaf is employed in cooking method called pepes and botok; the banana leaf packages containing food ingredients and spices are cooked on steam, in boiled water or grilled on charcoal
– The tender core of the banana plant’s trunk is also used in South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine

Homemade Banana Pudding Pie

Homemade Banana Pudding Pie
Makes 1 9-inch pie

Ingredients:
2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
3 bananas, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 egg whites
1/4 cup white sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate with a layer of alternating vanilla wafer crumbs and banana slices.
3. To Make Pudding: In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups sugar with flour.
4. Mix well, then stir in half the milk.
5. Beat egg yolks and whisk into sugar mixture.
6. Add remaining milk and butter or margarine.
7. Place mixture over low heat and cook until thickened, stirring frequently.
8. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
9. Pour half of pudding over vanilla wafer and banana layer while still hot.
10. Make another layer of alternating vanilla wafers and banana slices on top of pudding layer.
11. Pour remaining pudding over second wafer and banana layer.
12. To Make Meringue: In a large glass or metal bowl, beat egg whites until foamy.
13. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, continuing to beat until whites are stiff.
14. Spread meringue into pie pan, making sure to completely cover pudding layer.
15. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, just until meringue is browned.
16. Chill before serving.
17. Enjoy!

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