My Motto

May the muffin rise to greet you, may your friends be always at your door, and until we meet again, warm a single-malt in the palm of your hand and make something homemade for someone you love.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Banana Cream Pie with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

"The fine arts are 5 in number, namely: painting, sculpture, poetry, music and architecture, the principle branch of the latter being pastry"
 ~ Antonin Careme (1783-1833)
We used to visit my maternal grandmother once a year in Binghamton.   She never failed to have a homemade banana cream pie in the fridge.  At that time I thought that cold, creamy pie was just about the best thing ever to cross my palate.

During my high school years I used to make one every couple of weeks and would get ticked if I went to buy bananas and none of them were ripe enough.  In that regard, you do need to think ahead to be sure your bananas are ripe and sweet.  You could also make the pasty cream a day or two ahead to spread out the work involved.
The new issue of Bon Appetit, coupled with the bunch of ripe bananas on my counter were the catalyst for launching into this pie project.   The February issue of BA has a recipe for banana cream pie with salty bourbon caramel.  I used elements of the recipe, but did not follow it completely.  Theirs used a peanut shortbread crust, but that didn't appeal to me, my preference being a buttery graham cracker crust.  

My nostalgic attachment to this old fashioned dessert dictates not to stray too much from tradition, but their bourbon caramel sauce did launch it into the stratosphere.  I actually considered having pie for dinner, then decided on the more balanced approach of having a light soup dinner so we wouldn't have to feel too guilty about the indulgence.  It was crazy-good!!!

Banana Cream Pie with Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Pastry cream and sauce recipes from Feb '12 issue of Bon Appetit 

Graham Cracker Crust:
2 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter

Vanilla Pastry Cream:
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large egg  yolks
1/4 cup butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped Cream:
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar

Bourbon Caramel Sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon, divided
1/2 teaspoon corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 ripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly butter a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie plate.  In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs with sugar and melted butter.  Reserve 2 tablespoons of crumbs.  Press remaining crumbs into and up sides of the prepared pie plate.  Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool completely.

Vanilla Pastry Cream:  Bring milk and cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan.  Meanwhile,  whisk sugar, cornstarch, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Add egg yolks; whisk until smooth (mixture will be very thick).  Whisking constantly, gradually add milk mixture  to yolk mixture.  Return to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly,  until thick, 2-3 minutes.  Transfer to a blender with butter and vanilla, Puree until smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Transfer to a medium bowl; press plastic wrap directly onto surface of pastry cream.  Chill until set, at least 2 hours.  DO AHEAD: Can be made up to 2 days ahead.

Bourbon Caramel Sauce:
Stir sugar, 1 tablespoon bourbon, corn syrup and 1 tablespoon water in a medium deep saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat, bring to a boil without stirring, and cook, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until sugar is deep amber in color, about 6-8 minutes.  Remove from heat, whisk in 1/4 cup cream, butter and salt.  Let cool 5 minutes.  Stir in 1/2 tablespoon bourbon and vanilla.  Keep at room temperature until serving time.  You want to be able to drizzle it from a spoon, so you may need to heat it slightly just before serving if it has thickened too much.
Whipped Cream:  In a deep medium bowl pour 3/4 cup very cold heavy cream, vanilla and 2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar.  Beat with electric beaters set on high until stiff.

Peel and slice bananas.  Spread 1/3 of the cold pastry cream over bottom of crust.  Place half of  the banana slices over pastry cream.  Spread 1/3 of pastry cream over banana layer. Repeat, ending in a layer of pastry cream.  Having the banana slices encased in the cream keeps them from browning.  Spread all of whipped on pie, leaving a little pastry cream showing around the edge.  Sprinkle with some of the reserved graham cracker crumbs.

Drizzle a spoonful of caramel sauce over each slice immediately before serving.  


Kathy said...

Such a beautiful pie! Yum! And so nice it brings back nice memories of your grandmother.

Tina said...

Ha-I just got this issue in the mail today and you post tells me I need to start reading it. I think everyone should have a signature dish, since those are the ones that memories are made of! The pie here does look delicious, well done.

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Kathy: Thanks, yes food memories are stand out quite vividly!

@Tina: Enjoy it, there's lots of good inspiration in there! And thanks, it was delicious!

kale @ tastes good to me! said...

This is very impressive! p.s. i love your motto! :)

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Kale: Why, thank you! I love your name! Very nice to meet you...thanks for stopping by!

Hovkonditorn said...

What a great recipe! Have a great day!

Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen said...

MMM so beautiful and it looks soooo delicious!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Hovkonditorn: & @Kristi:

Thanks, girls!!!