I was channel surfing when I happened to catch Wolfgang Puck talking dessert on an episode of Food Network's The Best Thing I ever Ate! He was raving about the banana cream pie at Emeril's in New Orleans. And I have to admit, it looked like no other banana cream pie I'd ever seen. For one thing, it was over-the-top decadent from the ten, count them, ten bananas that go into each pie to the rich pastry cream that stands up on its own, nevermind the whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and chocolate shavings! So, I immediately looked it up and wanted to share the recipe with you. I will be making this in the very near future.
Emeril's Banana Cream Pie
5 large egg yoks
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 to 3 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
9 bananas, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
whipped cream topping:
2 cups heavy cream whipped to stiff peaks
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup heavy cream, heated until warm
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- To prepare custard filling, in a mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks, cornstarch, and 1 cup of the heavy cream. Whisk to blend well. Set aside.
- Combine the remaining 2 cups cream, sugar, and vanilla bean in a large bottom-heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to dissolve the sugar and bring to a gentle boil, about 10 minutes.
- Slowly temper in the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Pour it into a glass bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap down over the surface of the mixture to prevent to prevent a skin from forming. Let it cool completely to room temperature.
- When cooled, remove the vanilla bean. Whip mixture until you have a thick and creamy custard. If the mixture won't combine, add another 1/2 cup of heavy cream.
- To prepare the pie crust, in a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and mashed banana. Mix throughly. Add the butter and mix well.
- Press the mixture into a 9-inch cake (or pie) pan. Note: It's a thick crust so you may want to use a deeper cake pan. Bake until browned, about 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes.
- To assemble pie, spread about 1/2 cup of the custard on the bottom of the crust. Arrange a layer with 1/3 of banana slices over the custard, crowding them close together. Next, spread 1 cup of the custard over the layer of bananas. Then, arrange another layer of banana slices over the custard. Top with another cup of custard, then banana slices again. Top with remaining custard, covering the bananas completely to prevent them from browning. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours.
- In the meantime, prepare caramel sauce. You may want to read these tips as making caramel can be tricky. In a small, heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Stop stirring completely and allow the mixture to come to a boil undisturbed until it turns a deep amber and has the consistency of thin syrup, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Slowly stir in the hot cream. Use a heat-resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stir the mixture until smooth, scraping up the thicker part that settles on the bottom. If lumps develops, return the saucepan to the heat and stir the sauce until it regains the consistency of thick syrup. Cool. The sauce can be refrigerated until read to use. Allow it to reach room temp before drizzling over pie.
- Cut the pie into wedges and serve with a topping of whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and chocolate shavings.