If you’re craving banana pudding, you might as well make it from scratch. Homemade pudding takes little effort to make and will taste better than anything you find in the supermarket. Bananas are roasted,... mashed, and mixed into the pudding to give it some extra richness and an intense banana-ey natural sweetness. Ripe bananas are so naturally sweet, only 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar is added to the custard depending on your preference. If you want, make your own shortbread cookies or choose store-bought vanilla wafers with the least amount of ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake 1 banana in its skin on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes, or until the skin has burst. Carefully peel and mash. Set aside. Peel and slice the other banana, set aside.
Off the heat, in a small saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually whisk in the milk, making sure the cornstarch does not clump. Whisk in the egg yolks.
Turn the heat onto medium, and heat the custard. Stir constantly until the custard begins to thicken and bubble, about 10-15 minutes. Be patient — don't turn up the heat, just keep stirring and it will suddenly thicken. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 1 more minute.
Remove the custard from the heat and stir in the mashed banana and vanilla extract. Pour the entire mixture into a shallow bowl then top with reserved sliced bananas or if using cookies, pour just enough to cover the bottom. Layer with banana slices and wafers, then cover with custard. Repeat the layers, ending with the custard on top.
Chill for at least 1 hour. Serve.
Choose less ripe bananas if you prefer a less intense banana flavor.