Saturday, April 7, 2012

Banana Cream Pie

     When we were in San Francisco a few weeks ago, we had lunch at the praised bakery/café Tartine.  Overall the food was good, not mind blowing as Bon Appetite might have you think, but good.  For desert I shared with my daughter one of my favorite spring time pies, banana cream, in tart form.  What made this expensive little tart unique was the little morsel of caramel and the thin chocolate shell under the cream filling.  The filling was perfect, bananas firm but not unripe, and the whip cream light.  Unfortunately the crust was bad.  It was thick and tough.  So I decided, since I would be making a banana cream pie for Easter anyway, I would share with you my version of this special little treat.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!

Note: If you have a food processer, use it!  This process is much easier with one. 
Mix flour and sugar and add cold butter

Incorporate butter with hands/ pastry cutter/ food processer until butter is in small pea size pieces.
Make well in flour and butter mixture and add egg yolk, water, and vanilla. This is where a food processer really comes in handy. This dough should be worked together as little as possible but needs to be fully incorporated or it is very difficult to roll out. You can mix it together with your hands until it starts to form a ball.

Wrap in plastic and store in fridge for 30 minutes before rolling.
Roll out the crust as thin as you like it. Since I do not really care for crust that much I try to get mine quite thin. Transfer your crust to a pie plate and pinch the edges to form a pretty scallop. Take a fork and poke small holes in the crust to allow air to escape. Alternately you can cover the crust in foil and fill with dried beans, this will cause the crust to maintain it's shape. The crust needs to bake for 13 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the crust from the oven and allow to cool.

Place milk, surgar, and corn starch into medium size pan. Turn on medium heat and whisk constantly. In bowl or large Pyrex style cup measure whisk 3 egg yolks. When milk is hot but not boiling add 1 cup hot milk mixture to egg yolks and whisk together. Pour egg mixture back into pan with milk mixture whisking constantly. At this point the mixture will thicken quickly. Keep whisking and boiling until mixture is thick. It will coat the spoon and appear "gloopey".
Add 2 Tbsp butter, stir until fully incorporated, set off the heat.
Now that the crust should be mostly cool, remove the any weights and prepare for the chocolate and caramel layer.
Melt 1/2 bag chocolate chips in microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each until the chocolate is melted. Pour into pie crust and spread out all over. Let cool.
When almost set pour 1/4 cup caramel over the chocolate. (any caramel ice cream topping will do) 
Cut up bananas and spread out over bottom of pan

Pour custard into pan and smooth out.  Put entire pie into refrigerator to set.  Depending on the temperature of everything this could take 2-3 hours
Pour heavy cream into a medium bowl.  Whisk until stiff peaks form.  When pie is cool and fully set, right before serving, spread whipped cream onto pie.
Serve and Enjoy!

1 cup flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 stick cold butter
1egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp water

Custard Filling
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn starch
2 tsp vanilla
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp butter

Chocolate and Caramel layer
1/2 bag dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 banana
1/4 cup caramel topping

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp powdered sugar

Happy Easter Everyone!

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