1/3 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
¼ tsp. salt
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2½ cups milk
3 tbsp. butter, at room temperature, divided
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp. banana liqueur or 1 tbsp. banana extract (optional)
3-4 ripe bananas, sliced
Vanilla wafers (mini if you make parfaits)
For the topping:
¾ cup heavy cream
3-4 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the egg yolks, then the milk. Place the saucepan over medium heat. Add in 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture bubbles and thickens significantly. Remove from the heat. (Strain through a mesh sieve if you are at all concerned about having overcooked it to remove any lumps.) Whisk in the vanilla, remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and banana liqueur or extract (if using).
Layer a serving dish or individual serving dishes with vanilla wafers and banana slices. Fill each dish with some of the pudding and continue layering with vanilla wafers and banana slices as desired until the serving dishes are mostly filled and the pudding has been used up. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill until well set, at least 2-3 hours.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Blend in the vanilla. Transfer the whipped cream to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and pipe a dollop of cream onto each serving of pudding. Garnish with additional vanilla wafers if desired.