Monday, October 5, 2015

Black-Bottom Banana Cream Pie

How do you eat your banana?  Fresh without embellishment or layered in between chocolate custard and vanilla custard?  If your answer is the second one, this pie is for you.  This is the kind of pie that has all my favorite ingredients, chocolate and custard.  It's also super easy and unfussy.  I really like the method where I only have to make one custard which will then divided into a chocolate and a vanilla one.  And the crust is the old-fashioned graham cracker crumbs which I think is excellent bearer of this seemingly humble pie.  It's certainly not humble in the taste department but grand in my opinion!

So go on, try it, you might like it!

Black-Bottom Banana Cream Pie

Serves 8

For the crumbs:
1 1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs (about 7 ounces)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 large egg yolks
2 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 medium bananas, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Chocolate shavings, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350F.  In a food processor, combine the graham cracker crumbs with the sugar, cinnamon, salt and melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened.  Press the crumbs evenly into a 9- to 10-inch, deep-dish glass or ceramic pie plate.  Bake for about 8 minutes, until the crush is lightly browned and set. Let cool completely.

In a large saucepan (preferably with a rounded bottom), combine the granulated sugar with the cornstarch, egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the milk and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in the remaining 2 cups of milk and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until the custard is very thick, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla extract until the butter is melted.  Pour half of the vanilla custard into a medium bowl.

Whisk the chopped chocolate into the custard in the saucepan until it is melted.  Spread the chocolate custard evenly in the pie crust and top with the sliced bananas.  Carefully spread the vanilla custard over the bananas.  Refrigerate the banana cream pie until it is well chilled, at least 6 hours and preferably overnight.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream with the confectioners' sugar until it is softly whipped.  Mound the whipped cream on top of the pie.  Garnish the banana cream pie with chocolate shavings and serve.

Source:  adapted from Food and Wine, authored by Valeri Lucks

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