Wednesday, October 3, 2012

B.C.P.: Banana Cream Pie, with or without

“And the only reason I’m singing you this song now is cause you might know somebody in a similar situation, or you might be in a similar situation….”*

Food textures can be a problem for some people; youngest daughter has one with mushrooms for example. Prior to one of our pie nights, a friend announced that she had a texture problem with bananas, not a problem with banana flavor, just the texture of the fruit.
No problem.  Make individual tartlets, put the banana flavor into the pastry cream, keep one tart plain and fold the banana pieces into the other tarts.
If you are making individual 4 ½ “ tarts, adjust the pastry cream recipe to 3 tablespoons of corn starch. If you are making a 9” tart, use 4 tablespoons of cornstarch. You could also use a graham cracker crumb crust baked in a 9” pie pan.

For one 9“ tart, or six 4 ½” tartlets     
You will need one recipe chocolate pate sablee

2 eggs
2 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
3 or 4 Tablespoons cornstarch (see note above)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8th teaspoon salt
2 cups milk (see recipe)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 or 4  bananas
1 pint heavy cream
1 Tablespoon sugar
chocolate shavings, for decoration (optional)

1. To make the pastry cream, place the eggs and egg yolks into a bowl and whisk together. Add the sugar and whisk to dissolve the sugar. Whisk in the cornstarch, vanilla, and salt until combined. Set bowl aside.

2. Break one of the bananas and place it into a blender. Add enough milk to raise the level to two cups. Blend until smooth. Pour the banana-flavored milk into a medium-sized saucepan. Place the pan over medium heat. When the milk is hot, slowly whisk the milk into the pastry cream mixture until smooth. Pour the pastry cream mixture back into the saucepan and cook the pastry cream over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens; whisk throughout. Remove thickened pastry cream from the heat; whisk in the butter. Put the pastry cream into a bowl or container. Cover the pastry cream with a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pastry cream. Chill the pastry until cold. This can be made a day in advance and kept refrigerated until needed.

2. Roll the chocolate pate sablee and fit it into a 9” tart pan or individual tartlet pans. Using a fork, lightly prick the bottom and sides of the tart shell. Refrigerate or freeze the tart shell until needed.

3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the tart pan from the refrigerator or freezer. Place the tart shell onto a baking tray. If you are making individual tartlets, you can place them onto a baking tray and bake them as is, for 15 to 20 minutes.  If you are making a 9” tart, line the tart shell with a sheet of aluminum foil. Fill the foil with either dry beans, rice or pie weights. Place the tart shell into the oven and bake the tart shell for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove the tart shell from the oven and carefully remove the foil with the pie weights. Return the tart shell to the oven and bake for an additional 10 to 12 minutes until tart shell is fully bakes. Remove the tart shell form the oven and let cool completely.

$. To assemble the tart(s), remove the chilled pastry cream from the refrigerator and place it into a bowl. Whisk the pastry cream until smooth. Peel and slice the bananas and fold the bananas into the pastry cream. Spread the banana cream into the tart shell (or divide it between the individual shells). Whip the cream with the sugar until stiff.  Pipe or spread the whipped cream over the tart(s). Decorate with shaved chocolate. Serve.

And while you can’t get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant anymore, you can easily accommodate any friends with special request, if you might be in a similar situation, of course.

*from Alice’s Restaurant, by Arlo Guthrie


  1. These were delightful even if it wasn't worth an effort to steal some of M's pie

  2. You are a kind hearted friend to make me a banana-less banana cream pie. It was exactly what banana cream pie should be.