the master crimper
I made two pies for my dad’s 85th birthday dinner on Sunday. He requested a lemon pie and then Connor and I decided on a banana pie. Not any old banana cream pie, but a decadent Bananas Foster Pie – a custardy caramely luscious pie!
A little history here: Even though I hate to bake, I’ve always made my pie crusts from scratch. I guess it’s some sort of cooking instructor-pride thing. Now that I think of it, it’s stupid. I also almost never use cake mix either – nearly always making cakes from scratch. Again – kinda idiotic!
I mean, IF I loved to bake, then it would make sense to go all out, but since I don’t, what the heck?!?
Anyhow, Connor works in the pantry station at a high-end casual restaurant – meaning he makes the salads, condiments, the Charcuterie Boards, the desserts, etc. When he was over a couple of weeks back and we were talking about Dad’s birthday dinner, I mentioned the pie. He asked me if I wanted him to do the crust. What? YES! Of course, I do!
So Connor came over mid-week to help me with the two pie crusts. It turns out that at his work, they use Pillsbury’s roll out pie crusts (2 to a package) from the refrigerator case.
Who Knew? The fillings for the pies are made from scratch, but not the crusts. I put aside my snobbery and in doing so, discovered that they were excellent, much more consistent and reliable than mine and “easy as pie” to use. And who was the genius who made up that saying? It’s stupid too!
Let’s change that saying to – “they were easier than pie!” Not “easy as” but Easier!
Can you tell that baking makes me crabby?!?
The best part? Connor is a master crimper. Way better than me. Call me impressed. I’m very proud and pleased with my boy and his pie crimping skills! It’s fun discovering all he’s learning and finding out what I can get him to do for me!
Something else – I’ve decided to try to add a video or two to this post. Not sure how well it will work or if you find it helpful or not, so let me know what you think and if you’d like me to add more video content to future posts.
So back to this pie. The crust is blind baked, which can be done a couple of days before, wrapped well in plastic and refrigerated. Also, I forgot to sprinkle the top with the pecans. You should make sure you don’t forget. Finally, it should be topped (sweetened whipped cream, caramelized bananas AND pecans) at the last-minute and you might want to enjoy it with a fun rum cocktail! That last part is just an extravagant suggestion and up to your discretion. Enjoy and Happy Birthday, Dad! xoxo
Bananas Foster-Caramel Pie
- 1 blind-baked pie crust
- 3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 2 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 cup cold heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks with 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup purchased dulce de leche or caramel sauce
- 1 banana, peeled and sliced on the bias
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup toasted and chopped pecans
Banana Layer: Line the bottom of the baked crust with banana slices.
In a skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the brown sugar.
Continue stirring until the sugar is melted and begins to caramelize.
Turn off the heat and carefully add the rum, the mixture will steam and bubble up, so stand back. Return to low heat and stir until the hardened chunks smooth out.
Whisk in the cream, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Whisk until the mixture is completely smooth.
Pour over banana slices and allow the mixture to cool before covering and refrigerating to cool completely. Wait until the banana layer is cold to begin making the custard.
Custard Layer: Heat the milk and rum in a medium saucepan over low heat. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, brown sugar, cornstarch and salt for two minutes, until the mixture is lightened.
Once the milk mixture just begins to bubble on the sides of the saucepan, very slowly drizzle the hot liquid to the egg mixture, a little at a time, whisking constantly until all the hot milk has been incorporated into the eggs. Pour the custard mixture back into the saucepan and set over low heat.
Stir constantly with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula in a figure-8 pattern around the bottom, center and sides of the pan. The mixture will begin to thicken after a few minutes. Continue to stir until it is very thick and sputtering.
When the custard begins to sputter or bubble, remove from heat and switch back to the whisk, whisk constantly for two minutes until the custard is completely smooth, then whisk in the butter.
Pour the hot custard over the banana layer.
Smooth out the top and lightly press a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard and return to the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to chill.
Topping: When ready to serve, preheat the broiler.
Remove plastic wrap from the top of the pie. Spread the purchased dulce de leche or caramel sauce over the top of the custard and then pipe on sweetened whipped cream.
Sprinkle the granulated sugar over the banana slices, coating them well on the top side, then place the bananas on a Silpat or foil lined baking sheet. Place under the broiler to brown and caramelize.
Use a spatula to transfer the caramelized banana slices to the top of the pie, sprinkle with the pecans and serve immediately.
Serves 8 to 10