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Banana Cream Pie with Caramel Drizzles and Chocolate Sauce

Banana Cream Pie with Caramel Drizzles and Chocolate Sauce


Combine 2 cups cream, the milk, ½ cup of the sugar, and the vanilla bean and seeds in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.

Combine the egg yolks, eggs, cornstarch, and the remaining 1 cup sugar in a medium bowl; whisk until pale yellow in color. Set aside.

Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Gradually add the egg mixture to the remaining hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a large wooden spoon to cook out cornstarch and thicken mixture, about 5 minutes. (The mixture may separate slightly; if so, remove from heat and beat with an electric mixer until thick and smooth.) Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.

To assemble, spread ½ cup of the custard over the bottom of the graham cracker crust, smoothing with the back of a large spoon or rubber spatula. Arrange enough banana slices (not quite one-third) in a tight, tiled pattern over the custard, pressing down with your hands to pack them firmly. Repeat to build a second layer, using ¾ cup custard and enough bananas to cover, smoothing down the layer evenly. For the third layer, spread ¾ cup custard over the bananas and top with the remaining bananas, starting 1 inch from outer edge and working toward center. Spread 1 cup of the custard evenly over bananas to prevent discoloration. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

In a medium bowl, whip the remaining 2 cups heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar and the vanilla extract and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

Remove the pie from the refrigerator. With a sharp knife dipped in the hot water, cut the pie into 10 equal slices. Transfer slices to dessert plates. Fill a pastry bag with whipped cream and pipe onto each slices. (Or spread the whipped cream evenly over the pie before cutting.)

Drizzle each slice with the caramel and chocolate sauces, sprinkle with chocolate shavings and confectioners sugar, garnish with fresh mint, and serve.


Banana Cream Pie With Caramel Drizzles And Chocolate Sauce Recipe

4 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped
3 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cornstarch
Graham Cracker Crust
3 pounds (about 9) firm but ripe bananas, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Caramel Sauce
Chocolate Sauce
Shaved chocolate, for garnish
Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
Fresh mint, for garnish

Combine 2 cups cream, the milk, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla bean and seeds in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, whisking to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat.

Combine egg yolks, eggs, cornstarch, and 1 cup sugar in a medium bowl whisk until pale yellow in color. Set aside.

Whisk 1 cup hot cream mixture into egg yolk mixture. Gradually add egg mixture to hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a large wooden spoon to cook out cornstarch and thicken mixture, about 5 minutes. (The mixture may separate slightly if so, remove from heat and beat with an electric mixer until thick and smooth.) Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in refrigerator for about 4 hours.

To assemble, spread 1/2 cup custard over the bottom of the prepared crust, smoothing with the back of a large spoon or rubber spatula. Arrange enough banana slices (not quite one-third) in a tight, tiled pattern over custard, pressing down with your hands to pack them firmly. Repeat to build a second layer, using 3/4 cup custard and enough bananas to cover, smoothing down the layer evenly. For the third layer, spread 3/4 cup of custard over bananas and top with remaining bananas, starting 1 inch from outer edge and working toward center. Spread 1 cup custard evenly over bananas to prevent discoloration. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

In a medium bowl, whip remaining 2 cups heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add remaining 2 teaspoons sugar and vanilla extract and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

Remove pie from refrigerator. With a sharp knife dipped in hot water, cut pie into 10 equal slices. Transfer slices to dessert plates. Fill a pastry bag with whipped cream and pipe onto each slice. (Alternately, spread the whipped cream evenly over the pie before cutting.)

Drizzle each slice with caramel and chocolate sauces, sprinkle with chocolate shavings and confectioners’ sugar, garnish with fresh mint, and serve.


Recipe Finder: Banana Cream Pie from McEwen's

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Banana Cream Pie is the signature dessert at McEwen's on Monroe. (Photo: Files of The Commercial Appeal) Buy Photo

When a recipe request comes in, I first head to the archives to see if we've printed it before. There's nothing complicated about it, but it's also not as simple as it sounds. Get one word out of order and you don't get a match.

Since this column started up again in the summer, a few people have asked for the banana pie from McEwen's and a search was fruitless. I thought I texted owner Bert Smythe, who is generous with recipes, but it turns out that I was asking for the recipe for his lady peas after a friend delivered a bowlful.

So today I was looking for a Piccadilly recipe and what do you know? Up pops the McEwen's Banana Cream Pie, delivered by Smythe in 2009. I left "cream" out of my original search. I am happy to offer it and will advise you now: If you haven't tried it, get yourself down to McEwen's for a slice soon.

CLOSE

How do I make my favorite treat from a local restaurant? The answer is simple. Email your questions to Jennifer Biggs ([email protected]) and she'll share restaurant recipes that readers have submitted.

On to requests:

This one is for me. If I had this, I could give it to everyone in my family and call my Christmas shopping done (of course, I'd share with you, too). I need the recipe for the Sakura sauce served on shrimp Sakura and chicken Tokyo at the closed and much-missed Edo Japanese Restaurant. There might be a copycat recipe out there that will work, but I haven't found it. If anyone knows how to get in touch with Takeo Higashi, who owned the restaurant, or even the nice young men who bought it from him, you'll have my eternal gratitude if you let me know how to contact them. And if you have the recipe, well, come on. Share a little.

John Gray, you were so nice to call me to leave your contact information when Molly Polatty request the recipe for the Greek cheese roll from John Gray & Sons. But I lost it when our phone system updated and I know it's something folks would like for the holidays. Can you call or email me again?

Can anyone help? Email [email protected]

McEwen's Banana Cream Pie

Ingredients

Crust:
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1 very ripe, slightly brown banana, peeled and mashed
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
3 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons. vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3 slightly ripened bananas, peeled and sliced 1/4 -inch thick
Chocolate and caramel sauce for drizzling

To prepare crust: Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, mashed banana and melted butter in a large mixing bowl. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch pie pan. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool completely.

To prepare filling: Add cream, water, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks, sugar, melted butter and vanilla extract to a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan, then add the bean. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture boils, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove the vanilla bean. Reduce the heat to low and cook 1 minute. Set aside to cool completely, whisking occasionally, for about 1 hour.

Smooth 1 cup of filling in the bottom of the prepared crust. Layer 1 banana on the filling. Add another cup of filling and layer another banana, and repeat the process one more time so the filling reaches just above the shell. Chill the pie until the filling is set, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day. Drizzle chocolate and caramel on top. Makes one 10-inch single-crust pie.

Source: File of The Commercial Appeal, submitted by Bert Smythe, McEwen's on Monroe


Emeril Lagasse's Banana Cream Pie Recipe

5 large egg yolks1/4 cup cornstarch3 to 31/2 cups heavy cream2 cups granulated sugar1 vanilla bean, split and scraped3 cups graham cracker crumbs1/2 ripe banana, mashed1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted3 pounds bananas, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices2 cups heavy cream whipped to stiff peaks with 1/2 teaspoon purevanilla extract and 2 teaspoons granulated sugarShaved chocolateConfectioner’s sugar

1. Combine the egg yolks, cornstarch and 1 cup of the heavy cream in a small bowl and whisk to blend well. Set aside.

2. Combine the remaining 2 cups cream, 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and the vanilla bean in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to dissolve the sugar and bring it to a gentle boil, about 10 minutes. Slowly add the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Be forewarned: the mixture will break. Don’t be alarmed. Pour it into a glass bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap down over the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool completely at room temperature.

3. When cooled, remove the vanilla bean and pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a wire whip. Beat a medium speed to combine the mixture. If it will not combine, warm another 1/2 cup heavy cream and slowly add it to the mixture. Whip until you have a thick and creamy custard.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and the mashed banana in a large mixing bowl. Thoroughly mix together. Add the butter and mix well. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan and bake until browned, about 25 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

Emeril’s Tips:Vanilla beans are long and thin. To get the essence of the bean, it must be split, then scraped to remove the resinous, pasty insides. Lay the bean on a flat surface with its seam facing up. Using a sharp knife, place the point in the seam at the center and split to one end. Use the blade of the knife to scrape the pasty seeds out. To make shaved chocolate, chill a block of chocolate. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the sides of the block.

Ingredients: Caramel Drizzle Sauce

1 cup granulated sugar1/4 cup water1 cup heavy cream

Cooking Directions for Caramel Sauce

1. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is a deep caramel color and has the consistency of a thin syrup, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cream, return the saucepan to the high heat and boil the sauce until it regains the consistency of a thick syrup, about 2 minutes. Cool.

2. The sauce can be refrigerated until ready to use. Allow it to reach room temperature before drizzling it over the pie.

Ingredients for Chocolate Sauce

1/4 cup half-and-half1 tablespoon unsalted butter1/2 pound semisweet chocolate chips1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cooking the Chocolate Sauce

1. Combine the half-and-half and butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture until a thin paperlike skin appears on the top. Do not boil. Add the chocolate and vanilla and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and let cool.

3. The sauce can be kept refrigerated for several days, but it must be returned to room temperature before serving.

1. To assemble, spread about 1/2 cup of the custard on the bottom of the crust. Arrange about a third of the banana slices, crowding them close together over the custard. Next, spread 1 cup of the custard over the bananas. Arrange another third of the banana slices close together over the custard. Top with 1 cup custard and the remaining banana slices. Top with the remaining custard, covering the bananas completely to prevent them from turning brown.

2. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours.

3. To serve, cut pie into wedges and drizzle on the caramel sauce and chocolate sauce. Top with the whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.


Tips for the Best No-Bake Pie

When it comes to a no-bake pie like this, the point is that it should be easy — and this one really is! That being said, there are always tips and tricks to know how to make any recipe turn out to be the best version it could possibly be after all, when you’re using precious ingredients, the last thing you want is to end up with a lackluster dessert.

Here are a few of my tips for making the best no-bake Banoffee pie:

  1. Be sure to press the graham cracker crust firmly but gently into the pie pan. Any loose bits won’t adhere to the butter when everything cools and sets in the fridge, so keep it tightly packed into the bottom and sides.
  2. You can make the crust up to 3 days ahead of time! Just leave it covered in the pie plate in the fridge until you’re ready to top it with all the yummy layers.
  3. Once this pie is fully assembled, it is best to serve it right away. After it’s been cut, the caramel might melt a bit so it won’t be as pretty as it was on day one. That being said, you can still serve the leftovers for up to 2 days after, and no one will really care what the pie looks like because it’s SO DELICIOUS.

Idk about you, but whenever I crave dessert in the summertime, I want it to fill me up, not heat me up. This pie does the trick.

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Tartine’s Caramel Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate

I served a Banana Cream Tart (recipe from bakery par excellence, Tartine, in San Francisco) at my New Year’s Day Brunch. It was my favorite part of the meal.

California Wines for Any Summer Meal

It’s a lengthy recipe with several components. There’s the tart dough, the pastry cream, the caramel sauce, and then… the assembly. But what you need to know is, you do not have to do this in one day. The caramel sauce will keep for many days in your refrigerator. The pastry cream can also be made ahead of time. I made mine the day before New Years, and just used the last bit of it today… three days later. And the tart dough… make it days or weeks ahead and freeze until needed… simple!

  • Fully baked and cooled 10-inch tart dough pie shell, recipe below (I made Tartine's tart dough recipe for this tart, but I'm giving you a recipe for another favorite tart dough of mine)
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup very cold, heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ⅓ cup caramel, recipe below
  • 2½ cups cold pastry cream, recipe below
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  • 3 ounce bittersweet chocolate bar, for making curls (a thick piece of chocolate helps in making the curls)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ vanilla bean
  • 1¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 10 tablespoons butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 egg
  1. Have at the ready a bowl for cooling the pastry cream with a fine-mesh sieve placed on top.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and sugar. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Pour milk into a heavy saucepan. Split the vanilla bean half lengthwise and using the tip of a small knife, scrape the vanilla seeds from the bean and transfer to the milk. Add the salt and place the saucepan over medium-high heat bring to just under a boil, stirring occasionally and making sure that the milk solids are not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. When the milk is ready, slowly ladle about one-third of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the hot milk and and continue to whisk over medium heat until the mixture is as thick as lightly whipped cream. It must come just to a boil -- there is a fine line between thickened and curdled cream. Remove from the heat and immediately pour through the sieve into the bowl. (If left in the pan too long, the pastry cream will continue to cook.) Let cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to release heat.
  5. When the pastry cream has cooled (about 140?F), stir in the butter one piece at a time, whisking until smooth before adding the next piece.
  6. To cool the cream, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and press the plastic onto the pastry cream. This will keep the pastry cream from developing a skin. Place in refrigerator to chill. Do not whisk the pastry cream once it is cold. Doing that will break down and thin the cream.
  1. Pour the heavy cream into a small, heavy saucepan. Split the vanilla bean, and using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape the seeds from the bean and add to the milk. Place pan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to just under a boil. Reduce the heat to low to keep the milk warm.
  2. In a medium , heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water, salt, and corn syrup (I used a deep sauté pan. When the hot cream is added, the caramel will boil at first and increase in volume.) Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Then cook, without stirring, until the mixture is amber colored, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Very carefully and slowly, add the cream to the sugar syrup. The mixture will boil furiously at first, but will then simmer down. Whisk until smooth. Add the lemon juice and let mixture cool for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the butter to the caramel, one piece at a time, whisking constantly after each addition. Whisk the caramel occasionally as it continues to cool. The caramel will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 month.
  1. Combine salt, flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process briefly. Add butter and pulse until until the size of peas. Add egg and process just until the dough begins to come together. Press into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 2 hours before rolling dough. Bake the tart shell, lined with foil and weighted with dried beans, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until golden.
  1. Have the fully-baked pastry shell ready for filling. Melt the chopped bittersweet chocolate either by short bursts in a microwave oven or in a stainless steel bowl placed over a pot of simmering water. Do not let the stainless steel bowl touch the water. Stir until the chocolate has just melted remove from heat. Using the back of a spoon, spread the melted chocolate over the base of the pastry shell. Transfer pastry to refrigerator to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. While chocolate is chilling, pour the heavy cream into a mixing bowl and using either a hand-held whisk or an electric mixer, whisk cream until it begins to thicken. Add the sugar and continue to whisk until it holds medium-firm peaks.
  3. Remove from the pastry crust from the refrigerator. Drizzle the caramel evenly over the chocolate. If the caramel has been stored in the refrigerator, warm in a microwave or by setting the container in a bowl of hot water until desired consistency.
  4. Spoon the chilled pastry cream evenly over the chocolate and caramel. It is not necessary to stir the pastry cream when you remove it from the refrigerator. Take the sliced bananas and evenly cover the top of the pastry cream, gently pressing the bananas into the pastry cream.
  5. Top the tart with the billowy whipped cream and finish with a sprinkling of chocolate curls. To make the chocolate curls, warm the bar of chocolate, but do not melt! I placed my bar briefly on the top of my oven while the tart shell was baking. Use a vegetable peeler or a chefs' knife and run it across the top of the chocolate to create the curls -- I prefer using a vegetable peeler.
  6. Chill the tart for at least 3 hours after assembly and serve the pie cool. (I pull my tart from the refrigerator about 45 minutes before I plan to serve it.) It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

I grew up in the Amana Colonies in Iowa a German community made up of seven villages, where gardening, cooking, and hand-made were the center of our lives. I went on to study fiber at the Kansas City Art Institute and for many years created one-of-a-kind, crocheted linen bags that were sold through galleries, museums, and boutiques across the country. I have also restored Oriental rugs, done graphic design, worked as a colorist, catered, consulted (on whatever. ) and raised two beautiful daughters. I now spend my days in my kitchen baking and asking myself, "Why didn't I go to France and study pastry?" I am now making up for lost time, sharing with you what I love to do most in the kitchen.


Banana Cream Pie

Banana cream pie is an old-fashioned favorite, and here the addition of rum and spices takes this nostalgic favorite over the top. We like to use a vanilla bean for both the flavor and the pretty flecks that are visible in the custard, but you can substitute 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract if you like. Don’t be intimidated by the number of steps. The caramel sauce and crust can be prepared up to two days in advance, and the entire pie can be assembled a day before serving it. You can even use purchased caramel sauce instead of making your own if you prefer.

Banana Cream Pie

For the crust:

4 1/2 cups (9 oz./280 g) vanilla or chocolate wafer cookies

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the caramel sauce:

1 cup (7 oz./220 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) half-and-half

4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter

For the filling:

6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter

1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml) whole milk

1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) cornstarch

2/3 cup (5 oz./155 g) granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped, seeds and pod reserved

For the whipped cream:

1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream

2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar

To make the crust, preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a food processor, pulse the cookies until fine crumbs form. Add the sugar and salt and pulse a few times to mix evenly. Add the melted butter and pulse until the texture resembles wet sand. Gently press the
mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch (23-cm) pie dish, pressing until compact.

Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before filling.

While the crust is cooling, make the caramel sauce: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the brown sugar, half-and-half, butter and salt. Cook, whisking gently, until the sauce thickens, 5 to 7
minutes. Stir in the vanilla and cook for 1 minute longer. Transfer the caramel sauce to a small bowl and let cool to room temperature.

To make the filling, halve 2 of the bananas crosswise, then cut into thin slices. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, combine 4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g) of the butter, the brown sugar, allspice and nutmeg and stir until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add the banana slices and gently stir until the liquid thickens slightly and the bananas are coated, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the rum, then place over medium-high heat, and simmer until the the liquid reduces to a syrup glaze, 4 to 6 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Spread the mixture in the crust. Thinly cut the remaining 2 bananas and arrange on top.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the milk and the cornstarch. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until blended, then slowly whisk in the milk mixture. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) milk, the granulated sugar, salt and vanilla bean seeds and pod and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Discard the vanilla pod.

Add the hot milk, 1/4 cup (60 ml) at a time, to the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then pour the
mixture back into the pan. Stir constantly over medium-high heat until the mixture boils. Reduce the heat to medium and stir constantly until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spoon, 6 to 8 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Stir in the remaining 2 Tbs. butter until melted. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and pierce the plastic a few times with a knife to let the steam escape. Let cool to room temperature. Spread the custard on top of the bananas.

To make the whipped cream, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the sugar. Raise the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Pipe or spoon over the pie.

Drizzle the caramel sauce over the whipped cream. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight
before serving. Serves 8 to 10.

For this and more than 35 ideas for sweet and savory pies, check out
The Pie Cookbook, our all-inclusive guide to making pies by the cooks of the
the Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen.


Banana Cream Pie Everyone Will Love

I used to really dislike making banana cream pie even though I loved the actual dessert. When I’d make it, I’d often end up with a soupy mess because my custard would never set properly.

I finally decided to go the French route and use a pastry cream for this banana cream pie, as I knew pastry cream would hold its shape.

After its success, I moved onto trying the cream in pastries like eclairs and cream puffs. The pastry cream recipe has become a go-to in my repertoire, and you’ll understand exactly why with this banana cream pie.

Some banana cream pie recipes call for boxed pudding mixes, but they’re honestly never as good as a pie made with homemade cream.

I’ve used both American pudding mixes and European pudding mixes, and they always have that artificial aftertaste, not to mention they’re way too sweet. It can be easy to settle for the store-bought route because, well, soupy custard, anyone?

But I promise you that this pastry cream recipe is incredibly easy to make and will set up very nicely. It just requires a bit of focused attention – that’s all.

If you promise not to leave your cream unattended on the stove, you will be guaranteed a banana cream pie that you won’t be able to get enough of.

For the crust, I like to use a graham cracker crust because any kind of biscuit (whether it’s graham crackers or vanilla wafers) pairs really well with a vanilla custard like this. I layer custard and banana slices on top of the crust so that each bite has a whole lot of tasty goodness in it.

Finally, I finish off my banana cream pie by piping freshly whipped cream on top, along with a drizzle of caramel sauce. When I tell you this is a pie everyone will love, I really mean it!


Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate Ganache & Salted Caramel Sauce


Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate Ganache & Salted Caramel Sauce

I've been dreaming of banana cream pie ever since I had a taste of Melissa Chou's (Aziza) deconstructed version inspired by The Essential New York Times Cookbook. I thoroughly enjoyed Chou's elegant take on the dessert, but I had a hankering for something a little homier.

I had visions of a pretty Southern belle of a pie, with little flair, of course. A classic golden graham cracker crust coated with dark chocolate ganache, sweet bananas, thick vanilla-specked pastry cream, and pillows of soft whipped cream swirled with salted caramel.

Mmm&hellipI could almost taste it already.

To start, I got my crust in order. Honey Maid made it even easier than usual with pre-crushed graham cracker crumbs. I mixed it with some melted butter and a touch of sugar and baked it until it was golden brown and firmed up.

Then, I coated the bottom with a rich layer of dark chocolate ganache (flair #1).

For the pastry cream, I combined whole milk, sugar, and vanilla bean and let it come to a simmer. A tip with the vanilla bean, if it's too hard to split in half, throw the entire bean in the saucepan so that it softens as the milk warms up. Once it's pliable again, fish it out, splice it open, and scrape the seeds out. Meanwhile, I whisked together some sugar, cornstarch, and eggs. When the milk boiled, I whisked in the egg mixture. As it heated up again, the mixture thickened up to a pudding-like consistency. To finish off the pastry cream I folded in some freshly whipped cream and bananas.

For my second bit of flair, I wanted to bring some burnt salted caramel into the picture. The subtle tinge of bitterness and pop of salt in the caramel added an interesting dimension to the mix. Plus, salted caramel is always a good decision in my book. Making caramel is surprisingly easy, but for some added reinforcement, I turned to David Lebovitz for some great detailed tips on making the perfect caramel.

Now that all the pieces were ready, I layered in all the goodness and got ready for my dreams to come true. It was even better than I imagined it would be! The flavors complemented each other beautifully. The banana and chocolate -&ndash a classic combo -&ndash but brought to another level of interesting with the addition of the salted caramel, which also played nicely with the buttery graham cracker crumbs. Cool, creamy, sweet, and decadent. This is the kind of pie you want to take home to meet the parents.


Beautiful Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate Ganache & Salted Caramel Sauce
Inspired by Amanda Hesser's The Essential New York Times Cookbook.

Ingredients:

Graham Cracker Crust
1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs (10 or 11 whole crackers)
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Ganache Layer
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (about 1/2 cup chocolate chips)

Pastry Cream
1 2/3 cups whole milk
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out and reserved
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel (or kosher salt)

For Assembly
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
3 medium bananas

Preparation:
Make the crust:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Combine the crumbs and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter and mix until the crumbs are moistened. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan and use a flat-bottomed cup to press the crumbs evenly over the bottom press it up the sides with your fingers. The edges of the shell will be crumbly.
2. Bake until lightly browned, 10-12 minutes. Cool completely.

Make the ganache:
3. Set the chocolate into a bowl. Heat the heavy cream to boiling point and pour over the chocolate. Let stand a couple of minutes and gently stir until fully incorporated and glossy. It should be the consistency of warmed chocolate syrup. Cool to room temperature. Pour over the cooled pie crust and refrigerate.

Make the pastry cream:
4. Combine the milk, ¼ cup of sugar, and the vanilla bean and seeds in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. (Tip: If the vanilla bean is hardened, throw the entire bean in the saucepan so that it softens as the milk warms up. Once it's pliable again, fish it out, split it in half, and scrape the seeds out. Add it all back into the saucepan until the mixture simmers.)
5. In a small bowl, sift the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar together with the cornstarch. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and yolks.
6. When the milk comes to a simmer, strain out the vanilla bean pods. Add the cornstarch mixture to the eggs and whisk until well combined. While whisking, slowly pour in about one-quarter of the milk to temper the egg mixture. Transfer this mixture to the saucepan, set over low heat, and simmer, whisking constantly, until it reaches the consistency of thick pudding. (Be careful not to curdle the eggs.)
7. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until incorporated. If the mixture isn't quite as smooth as you'd like, you can always run it through a sieve. Pour into a shallow bowl, place plastic wrap directly on the surface, and chill.

Make the caramel sauce:
8. In a heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat, stir together sugar and water, and bring to a boil. Let boil until amber-colored. Once it starts taking on color, keep a close eye because it will turn quickly.
9. Immediately add butter and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat, add cream and salt (be careful, it will splatter), and mix well. It should be smooth and have a syrup-like consistency. Let cool to room temperature.

To assemble:
10. Using an electric mixer or a whisk, whip the heavy cream into peaks. Add powdered sugar and incorporate. Transfer the pastry cream to a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Fold in about half of the whipped cream.
11. Line the bottom of the pie crust with a layer of bananas (approximately two bananas sliced into rounds). With the remaining banana, slice half if it into rounds for garnish, and roughly chop the other half to fold into the pastry cream.
12. Drizzle a thin layer of caramel sauce over the bananas.
13. Spoon the pastry cream evenly into the crust. Mound the remaining whipped cream on top. Drizzle some caramel sauce over the whipped cream, swirling it decoratively. Decorate with remaining banana slices.
14. Chill, and serve within 24 hours. Plate with remaining caramel sauce.


Celebrate Pi Day with the ultimate banana cream pie

Editor’s Note: In honor of Pi Day — which falls on Saturday (March 14, get it?) — we searched for the most mouth-watering pie recipe on the internet. We found one on NOLA.com, the website for New Orleans’ Times-Picayune newspaper. This month the paper published a series of stories on one of its local celebrities, Emeril Lagasse, who is celebrating 25 years of his flagship restaurant, Emeril’s. The series features recipes from the boisterous chef, including this one for Banana Cream Pie — BAM, a perfect Pi Day recipe.

Originally published on NOLA.com June 9, 2014 | As we celebrate Recipes from Our Files that incorporate bananas, here is what I consider to be one of the city’s most famous desserts made with the fruit. It’s not as famous as Bananas Foster, but like that seminal dessert at Brennan’s, it has many fans and is served in many places outside the city.

It’s served at Emeril’s restaurants. It’s one of his signature desserts, and we published it for the first time in 1993 upon the release of “Emeril’s New New Orleans Cooking.”

Think of this as the ultimate banana cream pie.

Emeril’s Banana Cream Pie With Banana Crust and Caramel Drizzles

1 banana pie crust (recipe follows)

1 small vanilla bean, split and scraped

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

3/4 cup caramel drizzle sauce (recipe follows)

2 cups heavy cream, whipped with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 2 teaspoons sugar

Shaved chocolate and mint sprigs, for garnish

Prepare the crust and cool completely.

Heat 2 cups of the cream in a large saucepan over high heat. Stir in the paste scraped from inside the vanilla bean, and the butter, and bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup cream with the cornstarch and stir until thoroughly blended and smooth. When the mixture in the saucepan begins to boil, stream in the cream/cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly until all is thoroughly incorporated. Remove from the heat.

In a bowl combine the sugar and salt, and whisk this dry mixture vigorously into the saucepan until the cream is thick and the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Over low heat, whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. Remove from the heat and whisk the pastry cream until smooth and creamy.

Peel the bananas and cut them crosswise into 1/4 inch slices. Spread about one third of the pastry cream in the pie crust and arrange half of the banana slices over the cream. Spread on another one third of the pastry cream and arrange the remaining banana slices over that. Cover with the remaining pastry cream and smooth out the top. Refrigerate for at least two hours or until firm.

About 20 minutes before serving, prepare the caramel drizzle sauce.

To serve, cut the pie into wedges and drizzle on the warm sauce. Top with the whipped cream and garnish with the shaved chocolate and mint sprigs.

Banana pie crust

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 very ripe banana, mashed

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, cream the ingredients together with your hands. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before filling.

Caramel drizzle sauce

In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring it to a boil, stirring often. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is a deep nutty brown color and the consistency of thin syrup, for about 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Stir in the cream, turn the heat back onto high, and boil the sauce for about two minutes. Remove from the heat. Use immediately.

Left: "Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking" included the recipe for his signature dessert, Banana Cream Pie. Photo courtesy of Emeril's