Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Coconut Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate Crust


I had leftover pastry cream after some of my cake making adventures and I couldn't stand to see it go to waste. We thought about making some sort of ├ęclairs, but then it occurred to me that we could make a banana cream pie with it instead. Basically I just cobbled together a few recipes to get what I wanted and since the hard part -- the pastry cream -- was already finished, the rest was totally easy.

I used some Newman's own "oreo" ends (no filling) cookies to make the crust. I was concerned that I didn't have enough pastry cream so I decided to bulk it up a bit with some coconut. Once the crust was done though it was really just a matter of assembly. I put a thin layer of pastry cream on the crust, added a nice thick layer of sliced bananas and topped it with the remaining pastry cream. Once that was done I topped the whole thing with homemade whipped cream and put it in the fridge to chill.

I was actually pretty impressed with the whole thing. I used up leftover pastry cream, and I got to make a "pie" without throwing stuff around the kitchen. Plus it tasted pretty darn good and looked impressive to boot. Can't beat that.

Pastry Cream:
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 tbsps corn starch, sifted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 tbsps unsalted butter, cut into bits, at room temp

Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan.

Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the sugar, cornstarch and salt until thick and well blended. Whisking without stopping, drizzle about 1/4 cup of the hot milk -- this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won't curdle -- then, still whisking, add the remainder milk in a steady stream. Put the pan over medium heat, and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (making sure to get into the edges of the pot), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.

Whisk in the vanilla. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky. Scrape the cream into a bowl. You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the custard until cold or; if you want to cool it quickly -- put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water, and stir the pastry cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.


Crust:
1 3/4 cup cookie crumbs
3 tbsps sugar
pinch salt
1/2 stick butter, melted

mix sugar and salt with the crumbs. pour over the butter and combine. press the crumb crust into a pie plate and freeze for 10 minutes. preheat oven and bake for 10 minutes. cool completely before using.

Whipped Cream:
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp sour cream

Working with a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream until it just starts to thicken. Beat in the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until the cream hold firm peaks. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently fold in the sour cream.

Additional Ingredients:
1 cup coconut
thinly sliced bananas (I used 3)

Assembly:
stir the coconut into the pastry cream. put a thin layer of pastry cream on the crust, then add the bananas in a single (slightly overlapping) layer. Put the rest of the pastry cream on the bananas and finish by spooning the whipped cream evenly over the top. Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.

1 comment:

bjs said...

dagh chris offered me a piece of this wonder and i turned it down. what WAS i thinking?