Most of us, on occasion, experience a few bananas in the fruit bowl that everyone seems to avoid. I feel for these little yellow gems. They have a few brown spots and the entire household banishes them to the bottom of the bowl only to be ignored and spend their remaining days withering away until they are virtually liquid.
No banana should meet that fate! So let’s bake with bananas! What a better way to celebrate the little yellow fruit than a real fantastic treat, banana bream PIE!!!
There is something spectacular and soul satisfying about a homemade cream pie, a true delight. Long ago, toiling away in a small pastry kitchen in San Francisco, my favorite boss taught me an incredible secret to all things banana and creamy. Clean the bananas, and use the PEEL to flavor the milk in the custard. Such a simple secret! Such an amazing banana flavor! My hope is that learning to make your own pastry cream, or custard, will banish those little Jell-o boxes from your kitchen for good.
Banana Cream Pie1 pre-baked pie shell For the custard: 2 cups whole milk 1 vanilla bean, split 6 egg yolks 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/3 cup cornstarch pinch o’ salt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 ripe bananas- wash bananas thoroughly prior to peeling
For cream topping1 cup heavy whipping cream 2 tablespoons powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the banana creme filling
Bring the milk, one banana peel and vanilla bean to an early boil. Remove the banana peel and vanilla bean, making sure to scrape all the yummy bean into the milk. In a separate saucepan whisk the yolks, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Slowly and carefully pour a ladle full of hot milk over the egg mixture, whisking without stopping to make sure the yolks won’t curdle. This is called tempering the yolks. Add the rest of the hot milk. Whisk constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens and begins to boil. Remove from heat. Add the butter, mixing until the custard is smooth. Pour the custard into a different bowl, and place plastic wrap directly on the custard. Allow to cool, about an hour.
To assemble the pie, cut bananas and place half of them in your pre-baked crust. Give the cooled custard a few whisks to loosen, and spread a thin layer over the first layer. Slice more bananas over the custard, and add the final layer of custard. Top with fresh whipped cream.
Andrea Charroin was a trained baker and pastry chef in San Francisco before she and her family moved to Redding 10 years ago. After falling in love with Redding’s downtown, Andrea and husband Westley opened a little pastry shop, Rene-Joule Patisserie, across from the Cascade Theatre. For the three years Rene-Joule was in business, it was renowned for making everything from scratch, using the best ingredients and keeping with a seasonal menu. To this day, Andrea is asked about her Marathon Bars, Orange Twists and sourdough bread.
Copyright 2009 Andrea R. Charroin. Visit her blog at bakerslove.typepad.com