Q: What I can do to keep bananas from turning dark when I make banana pudding? I have waited for the custard to cool, and I have also dipped the slices in lemon juice/water mixture. Both help some, but some slices still turn dark.

A: I tested a number of banana pudding recipes for a story earlier this year and none called for doing anything to keep the bananas from browning. Traditional recipes usually involve topping the pudding with meringue or whipped cream, which seals the top and keeps the bananas from being exposed to air. The custard also helps protect the bananas.

You might make sure you aren't using bananas that are too ripe. The skins should no longer be green, but also shouldn't have too many flecks of brown.

However, you also shouldn't expect banana pudding to last longer than a day or so. Beyond that, the bananas will start to darken wherever some of the pudding has been spooned out, exposing them to air. You may just need to treat banana pudding as a fleeting pleasure and plan accordingly.