I’m generally not a huge banana person, but for some reason banana cream pie is one of my favorites. Creamy, custardy, and cuddled by a flakey pie crust, it’s pretty hard to beat. To heavily gild this lily, I decided to add a layer of dark chocolate ganache and a dose of cardamom. The bitter richness of the chocolate off-sets the sweet custard, and the cardamom adds a hint of exoticism to this American classic. Enjoy!
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
4 ounces soft unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and chopped roughly
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup, plus 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 F
In a standing mixer or with a hand mixer, combine crust ingredients until a unified dough forms. Press the crust into a lightly greased 9 inch (at least 1 inch deep) tart pan with removable bottom. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes, then bake for 10, until golden brown and set. Let it cool completely.
Prepare an ice bath. Off heat, whisk sugars, cornstarch, and salt in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Gradually whisk in milk, then egg yolks. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and add the vanilla bean. Whisk over medium-high heat until custard thickens and simmers (but doesn’t boil!), about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in cardamom and unsalted butter bit by bit. Discard vanilla bean. Transfer custard to large bowl over the ice bath; cool completely, whisking occasionally, about 1 hour.
Stir custard to loosen, if necessary. In a double boiler or a small pot over low heat, melt the chocolate and add the 3 tablespoons of heavy cream. Pour the melted chocolate over the entire crust, smoothing with a spatula. Cut 2 or 3 bananas into 1/4-inch slices and layer across the crust. Cover with custard, smoothing it into an even layer. Whisk together the cream, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Using a small spatula, spread the whipped cream on top of the custard. Refrigerate pie, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Just before serving, cut 3 or 4 bananas into 1/4-inch slices, lengthwise. Beginning at the edge of the piecrust, arrange the slices in slightly overlapping rows on top of the whipped cream. Sprinkle with sugar and burn top with a butane torch (Or briefly broil in the oven. Careful though, you don’t want to melt the whipped cream!). Enjoy!