Banana Pudding

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For a lot of us, Banana Pudding is summer and picnics and Fourth of July, all rolled into one creamy, pale yellow bowl of gooey delight. I like this recipe because it’s like a lemony banana cheesecake. And if it makes you nostalgic for shade trees with rope swings and old friends you haven’t seen in years, so much the better. SAM

1 (11-ounce) box vanilla wafers
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
5 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, divided

Line a 9-inch square baking pan with vanilla wafers and set aside. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the milk and blend thoroughly. Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice and the vanilla and beat until thickened. Slice 3 bananas and layer them over the vanilla wafers in the pan. Pour in the filling, cover with plastic wrap, and chill 2 to 3 hours. Slice the remaining banana, dip into the remaining lemon juice, and place on top of the pudding.
Makes 8 servings.

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