Caramel-Banana Cream Pie

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Caramel-Banana Cream Pie

Sometimes my inner Southern comes out with a bang. My Goldsboro, North Carolina yells “Bruh! Where’s the banana cream pie?!” During these moments, I have to put away my dark chocolate, and turn water and sugar into amber gold to headline my original caramel-banana cream pie. I’ll explain the secrets of caramel in another section, but the recipe I use is at the bottom of the page. I’ll run you through the creation of this recipe.

IMG_3021Here’s the ingredient breakdown:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup heavy cream
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
4 bananas, sliced
½ cup of caramel sauce

Now if you’ve ever made a banana cream pie you will notice a number of glaring differences between this recipe and one found on another food website. The original template is from this website.

The first major difference is the reduction of sugar in the pudding of the cream pie compared to other recipes. The reason for the decreased sugar is that the caramel in the pie adds a significant amount of sugar to each individual bite. To compensate for the caramel it is best to reduce the sugar in the pudding.

Now that sugar is not the all-star in the pudding anymore, who will step up to replace Kobe? I’m thinking Kevin Durant… umm, I mean cream. I got carried away with the metaphor. Replacing half a cup of milk with half a cup of heavy cream adds a richness to the custard and provides increased thickness. Plus, it’s a travesty that something can be called a cream pie if there’s no cream present in it. Also I added more vanilla extract to the cream to give it an extra punch.

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The final change is more structural than for flavor. As a result of the addition of cream, the custard/pudding mixture has an increased thickness. Due to this increased thickness, less flour is needed in the custard. I will point out at this point that heated flour stimulates gelling in custards (and food in general), so you are sacrificing a bit of gelling potential of the custard. As such it is essential that the completed pie remain in the refrigerator at least 3 hours before eating. If you dig into this pie before it has completely set, you will have custard oozing out of the pie like lava going down a volcano. Resist the urge. And of course enjoy!

 


Caramel-Banana Cream Pie

Ingredients:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup heavy cream
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
4 bananas, sliced
½ cup of caramel sauce

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Add milk and cream in gradually while stirring gently. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly. Keep stirring and cook for about 2 more minutes, and then remove from the burner.
  2. Stir a small quantity of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, and immediately add egg yolk mixture to the rest of the hot mixture.
  3. Cook for 2 more minutes (until temp hits about 170 degrees F); remember to keep stirring. Remove the mixture from the stove, and add butter and vanilla. Stir until the whole thing has a smooth consistency.
  4. Slice bananas into the cooled baked pastry shell. Add caramel sauce to bananas. Top with pudding mixture. Top pudding mixture with bananas. Top with whipped cream if desired.
  5. Chill for an hour.

Caramel Sauce

Ingredients
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/8 tsp of cream of tartar
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon gray sea salt, crushed or kosher salt

Directions:

  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and cream of tartar over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, without stirring. If necessary, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Remove the sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Transfer the caramel to a dish and cool.