Roasted Banana Pudding

serves 12

3 slightly underripe medium bananas (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
8 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons cornstarch
6 cups half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Garnish:
vanilla wafers
whipped cream
sliced bananas

Preheat oven to 325F.  Roast bananas on a lined sheet pan for about 20 minutes (the skins will turn completely black).  

In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar with the egg yolks and cornstarch until smooth; set aside.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the half-and-half, remaining sugar, and salt to a simmer.  Whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot half-and-half mixture into the egg yolk mixture; whisk well to combine. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan to combine with the remaining half-and-half mixture.  Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and starts to bubble.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and lemon juice.  Pour thickened pudding base into a large food processor and add the peeled roasted bananas; process until smooth.  Pour mixture into individual serving dishes and cover with plastic wrap being sure wrap touches pudding surface.  Chill completely.  Garnish just before serving.

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