I've enjoyed my mother's pudding for as long as I can remember. She and I revised it, using a sugar substitute and reduced-fat ingredients. With its meringue-like top and soft vanilla wafer layer, it's a Southern dessert at its fines.—
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar substitute, 1/4 cup sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in milk until smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in butter and vanilla.
Pour half of the pudding into an ungreased 1-qt. baking dish. Toss bananas with lemon juice; layer over pudding. Arrange vanilla wafers in a single layer over bananas. Pour remaining pudding over wafers.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Beat in remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Spread the meringue evenly over pudding. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Refrigerate leftovers.
Editor's Note: This recipe uses both sugar and sugar substitute. It was tested with Splenda No Calorie Sweetener and Parkay Light stick margarine.