If you don't think of Kentucky State Parks as quintessential culinary stops on your trip to the Bluegrass State, you should. Across the Commonwealth, park chefs serve up Kentucky Proud dishes that reflect the culinary heritage of the region. This banana pudding is a sweet end to a traditional Western Kentucky meal at Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, and thanks to park chef Bill Ware, you can enjoy it at home anytime. 


  • 1/2 C cornstarch
  • 1/2 gal whole milk
  • 1 stick margarine or butter
  • 3/4 C granulated sugar
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla flavoring
  • 8 bananas
  • 1 lb vanilla wafers
  • Meringue
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 C sugar


  1. To make custard, blend cornstarch with 2 cups of milk until smooth in a pan. In steam kettle or double-boiler, pour remaining milk, margarine and sugar. Whisk together and heat until milk is hot and margarine has melted, whisking occasionally. Slowly whisk in eggs one at a time, and then the cornstarch slurry. Stir constantly to avoid lumps and keep at medium heat until reaching desired pourable consistency. Blend in vanilla flavoring. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. To make meringue, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy; add sugar a tablespoon at a time to dissolve, then whip until stiff peaks form.
  3. Spray 9” x 13” glass baking dish with no-stick cooking spray. Pour quart of custard in bottom of pan, slice 4 bananas over layer, then add half the wafers. Cover with another quart of custard, then add another layer of 4 sliced bananas and rest of wafers, covered again by custard as needed. Top pan with meringue (should be 2” to 3” thick and fluffy) and place in 400° oven for 4 to 6 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.


Serves 12.

Recipe by Bill Ware, Kentucky State Parks

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