“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
I absolutely love bananas. For me, the ultimate dessert is anything that involves bananas, especially if they can kind of retain their original shape. Kind of like, yup, I see you banana, you! This pie is the ultimate banana cream pie, it is filled with a thin layer of rich caramel and creamy sweetness of the filling and the bananas. There are no artificial ingredients here, only the wholesome, homemade pie.
I am not a huge pie fan – if it is a pie that I will love, it really needs to be special. I do not believe in desserts that have any shortcuts, those are not for me. In my experience, any time I attempted something that needs no baking or cooking, never really came out tasting to my liking. So, when I found some recipes that call for using a store bought crust or the store bought caramel, I was decidedly against it. No, I was to make everything from scratch. I cannot tell you my delight when I made my first batch of caramel! It is so easy and simple!
This banana cream pie is special. It is a simple desert that celebrates the wonderful flavors of past and future. You can make it to celebrate a new home, a family get together, even a birthday, because, why not? Celebrate something or someone worth a slice of heavenly pie. Sharing our love with our neighbors, family and friends is a gift. Let’s celebrate that gift with a pie as often as possible.
BANANA CREAM PIECourse: Tortes, Tarts and Cakes
- Pie Crust
1 stick of unsalted butter/115 grams, at room temperature
1/4 cup/50 grams sugar
1 cup/140 grams all-purpose flour
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- Salted Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup/100 grams sugar
1/4 cup/60 grams heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Pastry Cream
1 2/3 cups/400 grams of whole milk
3/4 cup/150 grams sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
6 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Whipped Top
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 Medium Size Bananas
- For the pie crust – In a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar, 2-3 minutes. Add the flour and mix until fully incorporated. Add the egg yolk and mix for about 30 seconds. Remove the dough, wrap in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour. When ready to bake, take out the dough and let it rest for about 15 minutes. Using the rolling pin roll the dough using some lightly flickered flour on the surface and the dough until it is about 11 inches in diameter. Gently placed the rolled dough into a 9 inch pie dish. Trim the edges and do not worry if the dough breaks anywhere, you can use the cut off dough to patch any holes. Refrigerate for 30 min and poke the dough with a fork all over once you are ready to bake it. Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes. Remove and let it cool on the wire rack.
- For the salted caramel sauce – combine sugar with about 1/4 cup water until the sugar is moistened Bring to boil and do not stir – continue to boil until you see it changing colors. At this point you can swirl it to help caramel color evenly. Keep swirling until caramel is deep golden color. Turn the heat off and add heavy cream and salt. Be careful – it will sputter and spit at first. Whisk until completely incorporated. Let it cool down before using, about an hour, then spread at the bottom of your pie crust. Add the sliced bananas on top of the caramel.
- For the pastry cream – This is that ultimate pastry cream sans butter, so if you get this under your belt you will be able to use it in infinite number of combinations. For this pie, we are omitting the butter but you can very well add it at the end, however I think in this combination it is not necessary. Whisk the egg yolks with sugar in the stand mixer until creamy; add cornstarch that you combined well with the 2-3 tablespoons of that total milk needed. Add the vanilla extract. In the medium saucepan heat the milk until just before the boiling. Slowly pour in the mixture of egg yolks and cornstarch, continuously and vigorously whisking. It will start to thicken and after about 1 minute you will see it boiling. Take off the heat and cover with plastic wrap pressing it directly against the surface of the pastry cream, to prevent the formation of the skin. Refrigerate 2-3 hours before using.
- Once the pastry cream is cooled, add it to the pie on top of the bananas. Whip the heavy cream with sugar until it holds a firm peak. Spread it on top of the pastry cream. Decorate the pie with chocolate curls – use the vegetable peeler to shave curls off a dark chocolate slab.