Monday, September 08, 2014

Banana Cream Pie with Rum Caramel Sauce

Fall is here, but the weather lately still feels like a perfectly warm, but not too hot, summer.  I'm perfectly okay with that and would be happy as a clam to have this weather stay.  Unfortunately I think the cold will come sooner than later. 

With fall comes a lot of great things...beautiful leaves, pumpkin pie, hooded sweatshirts, apple picking, and cool evening bonfires.  But it also means the start of school, which is exciting for most kids - but not for a grown adult returning for his second bachelor's degree and going on 9 years of school.  I'm talking about my husband of course. :)  

Despite the sad feeling that Ryan and I both have of him being back in school again, the good news is that it is his last year (yay!), and his birthday is always around the start of school so it is a nice way to forget the stress of school for a bit and celebrate his life.  So I made him this pie. 

I've never made banana cream pie before, and I never would have said it was a favorite of mine...but when I found this recipe online, I knew I had to have it.  And it was delicious.  However - I swear I made my pastry cream thick enough, and yet is was still a soupy mess to eat despite chilling the cream overnight and the whole pie for hours. :(  I hope that doesn't happen to you if you make this.  If it does - just rest assured that it will still be incredibly tasty...and hopefully that will make up for it. 

I recommend making most of the components of this pie ahead of time to save you the hassle of a lot of steps on the day you would like to serve it.  You can make the crust, pastry cream, and rum caramel at least a day ahead.  You'll just want to be sure to wait to assemble it with the bananas and whipped cream until right before or a few hours before serving. 

I used my mom's famous pie crust recipe that we use for apple pie normally.  You can use any pie crust you want but I just knew this was a tried and true way to go.  Line the crust with some dark chocolate to give it a chocolaty protective barrier between the crust and the cream. 

Alternately layer the pastry cream and slices of banana.  

Isn't it pretty? :)

Top with whipped cream.

Then drizzle salted rum caramel all over the top.  And more on your slice of pie.  And more just on your plate. And then just lick the spoon and rest of container clean....

Serve your delicious but potentially messy pie to guests, or just yourself - and enjoy! :)

Banana Cream Pie with Rum Caramel Sauce
Pie crust lined with chocolate
vanilla pastry cream
3-4 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
whipped cream
salted rum caramel

Pie crust lined with chocolate
(Makes enough for two crusts – one to save for later!J)
½ cup butter
1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp. salt
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Vanilla pastry cream
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsps. Cornstarch
2 tbsps. All-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
5 egg yolks
2 oz. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tsp vanilla extract

Salted rum caramel
3 tbsps. unsalted butter
1/4 cup cream
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsps. Rum, divided
1/2 tsp molasses
1 tbsp. water
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Whipped cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsps. Confectioner’s sugar

Make the crust: In a medium bowl, stir together flour and salt.  Add butter and mix until pieces are pea-size (use a pastry blender or hands).  Sprinkle 1 TBSP of water over part of flour mixture, gently toss with fork.  Push moistened dough to side of bowl and repeat using 1 TBSP of water at a time until all flour is moist.  Dived in half and roll into balls.   Shape the disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll one ball dough out on a floured surface until it is 1/8-inch thick and 12 inches in diameter. Fit it to your pie plate and crimp the edges. Refrigerate the pie plate with the pastry for 15 minutes or until chilled.  Wrap the other ball of dough in saran wrap and place in a Ziploc bag.  Freeze or refrigerator for later use when you want to make another pie. 

Preheat the oven to 400°F and prick the pie dough all over the bottom with a fork. Bake 20-25 minutes or until set and golden in color (press down any air bubbles). Melt the chocolate on half power in the microwave or over a double boiler. Take the pie crust out of the oven and brush the chocolate over the bottom and sides of the pie crust to form a thin, but solid layer. Let cool.

Make the pastry cream: Heat the milk and cream in a medium saucepan until the liquid begins to simmer. Turn off the heat. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, flour and kosher salt together. Whisk the egg yolks in until smooth (it’s quite thick). Whisk a little of the hot milk-cream into the egg yolks mixture, adding a little more at a time until half of the hot liquid has been added to the egg yolks. Pour the mixture back into the pan with the rest of the hot milk-cream and whisk constantly over medium-low heat. It should thicken in a few minutes. When the pastry cream is thick, remove from heat and whisk the butter and vanilla extract in until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap is in contact with the surface of the pastry cream (to avoid developing a skin) and chill.  (I made mine the night before serving which worked out nicely for chilling and saved me time the next day)
Make the salted rum caramel: In a small saucepan heat the butter, cream, and salt together over medium heat until it begins to boil. Cover and turn off the heat. Stir the sugar, 1 tbsp. of rum, molasses, and water together in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves (it must dissolve or you will brick the whole thing). If the sugar doesn’t seem to dissolve, add a little more water and stir/heat it until it dissolves. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil without stirring or disrupting the sugar. Let it boil until the sugar turns deep amber (about 6-8 minutes). Whisk the heated butter-cream mixture into the hot sugar. It should bubble up to 2 or 3 times the volume, but keep whisking until incorporated. Whisk in the remaining tablespoon of rum and the vanilla extract. Let cool.  If making ahead, store in a sealed container at room temperature or in fridge.

Assemble the pie: Whip the heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar together until medium-stiff peaks form. Try not to over-whip the cream. Spread 1/4 cup of the pastry cream on the bottom of the pie crust. Arrange a single layer of banana slices over the pastry cream. Pour half of the remaining pastry cream over the banana slices. Spread evenly. Arrange another single layer of banana slices over the pastry cream. Spread the rest of the pastry cream over the banana slices. If you have some banana slices left, make a small circle of slices in the center of the pastry cream. Pile the whipped cream in the center of the pie. Drizzle with salted rum caramel and reserve the rest of the caramel on the side. Serves 6-8.

Recipe adapted from: Use Real Butter

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