Banana Cream Pie by Toni Roberts

94
Banana Cream Pie

(This recipe appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

Banana cream pie is one of my all-time favorite classics! This version is served on our lunch buffets. It is a lighter and more modern version with banana mousse replacing the traditional custard pudding. Crunchy, candied walnuts play nice with the buttery crust and banana flavors. 

Yield: about 12 servings


Banana Compote Inclusion

  • 2 gelatin sheets (silver)
  • 25 g light brown sugar
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 10 g vanilla bean paste
  • 350 g banana, chopped
  • 30 g dark rum
  1. Bloom the gelatin in cold water.
  2. In a sauté pan, melt together the light brown sugar, butter, and vanilla bean paste. Add the banana and sauté just until it begins to fall apart. Deglaze the pan with the dark rum. Stir in the drained, bloomed gelatin. Scoop into small dome silicone molds. Press parchment paper flat on the surface and freeze.

Banana Vanilla Bean Whipped GanacheBanana Cream Pie- Banana Mousse Blending

  • 425 g cold heavy cream, divided
  • 200 g banana puree (preferably Perfect Puree)
  • 25 g invert sugar
  • 25 g glucose
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 170 g white chocolate (I use Valrhona Opalys)
  1. Bring 100 g of the cream, the banana puree, invert sugar, glucose and vanilla bean to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover and allow to steep for 20 minutes.
  2. Melt the white chocolate.
  3. Blend the vanilla cream into the white chocolate in fourths. Stir vigorously using a rubber spatula with each addition, making sure to scrape the bowl as you stir. The first addition will look broken – this is ok. By the fourth addition it should be a nice, smooth emulsion (the vanilla bean can stay in this whole time).
  4. Using an immersion blender, slowly blend in the remaining 325 g cream (again, the vanilla bean can stay – the immersion blender will break it up further releasing its deliciousness). Strain through a fine mesh chinois. Chill overnight in a hotel pan with plastic touching the surface.
  5. Whip the mixture on medium speed to medium peaks.
  6. Pipe ganache into a large dome mold just below the edge. Press in a frozen dome of Banana Compote Inclusion. Smooth the top with a small offset spatula. Cover with parchment and freeze solid.

Buttery Pastry Dough Base

  • 450 g all-purpose flour
  • 9 g salt
  • 106 g granulated sugar
  • 453 g cold butter, cubed
  • 2 large eggs
  1. Gently paddle the flour, salt, sugar and butter in a stand mixer until the mixture becomes sandy. Add the eggs and incorporate completely. Sheet the dough between parchment paper to ½ cm thick. Chill well, 2-3 hours or more.
  1. Pull the parchment from both sides of the dough and punch with a round cutter slightly larger than the circumference of the large dome mold used for the Banana Whipped Ganache.
  2. Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and line with a black mesh silicone baking sheet. Arrange dough rounds and top with a second black mesh silicone baking sheet. Bake in a convection oven at 325˚F until golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating midway through baking. Cool.

Candied Walnuts

  • 400 g granulated sugar
  • 400 g water
  • 450 g raw walnut halves
  1. Bring the sugar and water to a boil. Add the walnuts and simmer until the walnuts began to turn translucent. Drain well. Immediately fry in oil at 350˚F until toasty brown. Note: this will go quickly – try not to burn them.

Yellow Glaze*

  • 54 g gelatin sheets
  • 390 g water
  • 600 g granulated sugar
  • 600 g glucose
  • 430 g sweetened condensed milk
  • 650 g white chocolate, melted
  • Yellow gel food coloring
  1. Bloom the gelatin.
  2. Bring the water, sugar, and glucose to a boil. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and bloomed, drained gelatin. Blend into the melted chocolate in fourths. Finish with the immersion blender. Dye yellow with a few drops of yellow gel color. 

*Note: Recipe makes more than needed. Freeze or use extra for another use.


Assembly

  1. Prepare the pastry bases on a flat sheet pan. Arrange the frozen banana domes on a rack. Bring the glaze to 95˚F and glaze the frozen banana domes. Using two small offset spatulas, move the domes to the pastry bases. Rim the edges with ground candied walnuts. Allow to thaw in the cooler.
  2. Finish the tempered domes with a candied walnut half.