Appalachia Appalachian Food

Sidney Saylor Farr’s Bananna Pudding

Old fashioned banana pudding

I don’t make Banana Pudding often, but every once in a while I get a taste for one. Banana Pudding is one of the most popular desserts in Appalachia. Visit a homecoming, decoration, funeral meal, family reunion or community event and you’re bound to find a dish, if not several, of banana pudding sitting on the table somewhere.

Along with all those banana puddings come a myriad of recipes. I’ve had it made with store bought pudding mix, with sour cream, with homemade pudding thickened with flour and with homemade pudding thickened with cornstarch.

Today I’m going to share Sidney Saylor Farr’s recipe. You can find it in her outstanding Appalachian Cook Book More Than Moonshine.Old reicpe for banana pudding

Sidney Saylor Farr’s Banana Pudding

  • 2 eggs separated
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 stick butter (4 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 pounds bananas sliced
  • 1 box vanilla wafers
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


Mix egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch, butter, and milk in a sauce pot.

Homemade banana pudding

Cook mixture over low heat and stir constantly until mixture thickens.

Banana pudding from north carolina

In a deep bowl place a layer of vanilla wafers. Cover layer with a portion of the pudding mixture you just made. Cover pudding with sliced bananas. Repeat layers until you’ve used up all of the pudding.

Meriguine with egg whites and sugar

Beat reserved egg whites and 2 tablespoons of sugar to make a meringue for the top of the pudding.

Meringue tip trick

Spread meringue over top of the banana pudding. Gently lay the back of a spoon or spatula on the meringue and pull up to make little points-this will make the meringue look prettier once it’s baked.

Set pudding under broiler until topping is brown. This part doesn’t take long-so keep a close eye on the pudding.

Sidney Saylor Farr's Bananna Pudding

Once the topping is browned-that’s it! Most folks pop their banana pudding in the frig to let it chill before serving. But not me. I like banana pudding best when it’s still warm.

In my neck of the woods folks come from far and near to taste Frankie Chastain’s banana pudding-I promise it’s that good. But this recipe from Farr is pretty tasty too.



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  • Reply
    Magdalene Mwangi
    June 30, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Yummy, thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    April 27, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    I LOVE from scratch banana pudding, but here’s what happened a couple of years ago. I was ready to make it, had all the ingredients (I thought), was really to assemble and realized I had no vanilla wafers. The only thing I had was “Nutter-butters.” I know, it was sacrilege, but I’ll never do it another way. A happy accident.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2015 at 12:42 am

    Banana Pudding and Bread Pudding are definitely two favorite deserts in the south. Like this one, I like mine topped with browned meringue rather than Cool Whip like many used. Just tastes more homemade to me. Plus, you can’t pronounce half the ingredients in Cool Whip, so how do you know they haven’t mixed shoe polish in there somewhere? LOL
    Never had banana pudding warm. Will have to try it sometime. Sounds real good.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Shirley B
    February 2, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    I too had a taste for banana pudding today.I had not made one in quite a while.I had bananas but no vanilla wafers,so I looked on line to see if by chance there would be a recipe using ANIMAL CRACKERS.I had a lots of them in the cookie jar. Sure enough I wasn’t the first one with that idea.My pudding recipe is almost exactly like the one you posted,so it turned out really good!Home made soup tonight,too!

  • Reply
    eva nell wike, PhD
    February 2, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    What is the ‘activity’ which TMc is talking about *** “If you are married you learn to do what as you get older”
    Eva Nell

    • Reply
      Pat Fox
      June 6, 2021 at 9:58 am

      I also like good banana pudding still warm from the oven. Once when for some reason I had to use vanilla pudding, I added eggs and more vanilla and a little melted butter. Not perfect but much closer to from scratch. I find banana pudding made with instant pudding mix disgusting.

  • Reply
    February 2, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    I rarely make banana pudding because I want to eat it all! I have my Grandmother’s recipe and it is just the best

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 2, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Well sir, on this blustery ‘Banana Pudding’ day, nary a whistle pig, ground hog, woodchuck or raccoon see’d his shadow! So Spring must be on it’s way…
    We have been having snow flurries all morning and the wind will ‘cut you to the bone’!
    As much as I would love to nestle in with a big bowl of ‘nanner puddin’, and watch the snow flakes, I think I am ready for Spring!
    The snowdrops and crocus soon to bloom this week! January Jasmine shrub has been blooming for a couple of weeks! This morning, (can you believe it is already the 2nd of February), the male Joree (Towhee) was singing his territorial call…”Drink your teaaaaa”! He must have seen the same ground hog!
    Did the ground hog see his shadow at your place Tipper?
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…Deviled eggs are a favorite with my better half also!
    Cindy is right your pudding looks much richer with those home growed aigs!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    February 2, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    I love banana pudding. It is one of the few yellow foods I care for. I like mine made with ripe but not dead ripe bananas and left in the fridge for a couple days so the vanilla wafers can get good and soggy.
    Your puddin looks great. I think I’ll try it. My oven is broken but I think I can brown the meringue with a propane torch.

  • Reply
    Susan Griner
    February 2, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    This is a dessert that no one seems to be familiar with here in the Washington state area. Sad but true.

  • Reply
    February 2, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    The only problem with the recipe is you left out the peanut butter. I will devour anyone’s banana pudding; made from scratch, from a box, store bought, hot,cold or lukewarm. BUT, if peanut butter is mixed into the pudding I have to hold the spoon with both hands to keep from swallowing it too.

  • Reply
    February 2, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    That’s nice, rich looking bananna
    pudding. I ate the homeade stuff
    most of my life when mama use to
    make it. But now I prefer the kind from a box, it’s creamier and good to me.
    Got almost half inch of snow up in my holler, but it plays out just a little ways down the highway. Still ain’t enough for

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    February 2, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Nanner puddin

  • Reply
    February 2, 2015 at 11:12 am

    I think we need to have a Banana Pudding Taste-off!! Perhaps a new recipe each week would help us set one up.
    Around these parts, banana pudding is the requisite dessert for most Bar-B-Qs.

  • Reply
    Celia Miles
    February 2, 2015 at 11:05 am

    That photo looks just like my mother’s pudding–not made with pudding, something I’ve never been able to duplicate…or found comparable in restaurants.Now,church homecomings and funeral times, I’ve rejoiced in its homemade taste. I have the cookbook–which I mostly just look at.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    February 2, 2015 at 10:19 am

    This recipe is similar if not the same that my Mother made for years. Always a cooked pudding! Lot’s of screaming if the sauce scorched! LOL
    When my husband came home from Korea, his Mother had made for him a huge bowl of banana pudding. Does anyone remember the largest mixing bowl in the Jewel Tea (Autumn Leaf) pattern? It was made in this bowl. She double dogged dared the other siblings (7) to touch it. He was the oldest of eight children. Banana pudding was a easy, frequent dessert and he still loves it and craves it today!
    I have eaten banana pudding that had no bananas…really very good!
    I have eaten (so called) banana pudding and thought, this is delicious, few bananas but pineapple…it was so good. My sister-in-laws special!..She said, “Well, I just had one banana left!” Now everyone wants her to make the one banana/pineapple banana pudding recipe! ha
    I admit it, I hate cooking and watching the sauce! I don’t like a lot of vanilla wafers in my pudding either!
    However, I can make a mean, no sugar, instant banana pudding that you can’t tell the difference. One or two secret ingredients…A pinch of this, a drop or two of that and one large dollop of something else! LOL
    Thanks Tipper, love the recipe!

  • Reply
    Barb Wright
    February 2, 2015 at 10:11 am

    I love this stuff! I haven’t made it for quite awhile..seems I made it more often when the kids were home. I have some grandkids here for a visit now,you’ve given me an idea!!

  • Reply
    February 2, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Your cookbook seems to be coming along very nicely – right? Another one for the book!
    Today is Groundhog Day – According to the PA groundhog, Phil, six more weeks of winter. That much wanted snow may just be on its way to you! Happy day to all readers!

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    February 2, 2015 at 8:08 am

    It is good warm in the winter and cold in the summer. One of those recipes that is a staple in every mountain home.
    Think I will make some today.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    February 2, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Hi Tipper, Banana Pudding is one of my favorite desserts. I love when it is topped with real meringue not cool whip or any other topping. I also like it best at room temperature, maybe because I first learned to love it at church dinners when it had sat out on the table during the service.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 2, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Hey Tip, that looks and sounds wonderful. I like banana pudding too, especially home made and not out of a box. I make it occasionally but put the whole egg in the pudding instead od making merengue to go on top. Most of the men I’ve known prefer it that way.
    Another item you always find at these gatherings that I absolutely love is deviled eggs. They come in as many different recipes as banana pudding and there is never any left at the end of the day.
    I can’t help noticing how yellow that pudding is. Would I correctly assume that you used home raised eggs? That’s the only thing I can think of that would make that color and it would certainly add richness to the flavor of the pudding!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    February 2, 2015 at 7:29 am

    “Used to be” when I made banana pudding often for my family (it was my husband, Rev. Grover D. Jones’s favorite dessert!), I didn’t even have to refer to the recipe. I had it memorized, or just “knew” how to make banana pudding, as we say in the mountains, “from scratch”–meaning I used no boxed pudding mix but everything fresh and from-the-word “go”! My recipe and way of doing it is very much like Ms. Farr’s. Thanks for sharing the recipe! The next time I have company, I may just make that delectable banana pudding dessert!

  • Reply
    Dan McCarter
    February 2, 2015 at 7:13 am

    I cried when this lady had to give up her job with the Appalachian Heritage literary magazine published by
    Berea College.

  • Reply
    February 2, 2015 at 6:14 am

    I love banana pudin 🙂 I also like it room temp.. But I don’t “complain” if it’s not.. If your married you learn to do that as you get Older..

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