Everything is better with caramel, says Clemence Gosset of The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories. Gossett caramelizes both the pastry cream and the bananas in this Banana Cream Pie.
She also has some thoughts on pie crust.
Read below for Gossett’s recipe, and click here to enter YOUR delicious pie (or pies) in the 4th Annual Good Food Pie Contest on Saturday, September 8th at LACMA.
Banana Cream Pie
(From Clemence Gosset of The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories.)
Don’t be afraid of caramelizing sugar. All you need is a pot or pan with a heavy bottom and a watchful eye. You’ll notice that your caramel will be smoother if you don’t stir it (I know this is hard, but the reward is worth it)! Gently tilt the pot, if you must.
You can make this into one large 12” pie or 6 smaller 4” pies. Either way, you’ll have leftover dough to play with!
3 cups flour (unbleached and Organic when possible)
2 tsps salt
1 Tbsp sugar
12 oz butter, very cold and cut into small squares
1/3 cup water, very cold
1) Place the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse 4 or 5 times.
2) Add the butter and pulse just until small pebbles form. We like to ‘pan for gold’ and see how our butter is sized. You want the pieces to be about 1/4” big.
3) Add the ice water and pulse just until a crumbly dough comes together. If needed, add 1 tbsps of water at a time until the dough forms.
4) Remove from the food processor (carefully) ! and form a flat disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour (or 20 minutes in the freezer).
5) Flour your work surface liberally. Place your disc on the floured surface and begin rolling from the center of the dough up, then from the center down. Rotate your disc a quarter turn and repeat. This will help to keep your dough in a round shape and ensure that it isn’t sticking to your surface.
6) Roll your dough in a shape 2” larger than your pie pan. When rolling out the dough,
Using the rolling pin, pick up and gently lay the dough into the pan. Cut, crimp or use the tines of a fork to create a decorative edge.
7)Freeze your dough for 10 minutes. Take it out and place a sheet of parchment paper, foil or cupcake liners over the crust. Fill this with pie weights, rice or dried beans and bake blind (with pie weights and no filling) at 375º until dark and golden on the edges.
Caramel Pastry Cream
8 egg yolk
2/3 cup sugar
¼ cup flour
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsps vanilla bean paste or extract
1) In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks and the 2/3 cup sugar. Add in vanilla (or any other flavoring) and flour. Whisk for another minute until smooth and set aside.
2) In a medium saucepot, sprinkle the 1/2 cup sugar and turn the heat to medium. Slowly melt the sugar until it becomes an even, golden color.
3) Once your caramel is golden, slowly pour in your whole milk. It may clump up- don’t worry! Keep stirring with the heat on until the sugar dissolves and the milk is hot
4) Add half of the milk to the egg mixture, whisking for a few seconds.
5) Stir the egg/milk mixture back into the pot and stir the contents over medium heat until it thickens. It should feel almost as thick as pudding.
6) Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Spoon into your large or several smaller pie shells you’ve already baked.
Caramelized Bananas and Whipped Cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold heavy cream
1) Cut your banana into 1/2” slices.
2)Place 1/2 cup sugar in a skillet and turn the heat to medium. Allow the sugar to melt, and once nearly half of it has, stir gently until it is even.
3) Place your banana slices on this caramel. Allow them to sit in the sugar for 30 seconds. Flip the bananas and cook another 30 seconds. Lift the slices with a small metal spatula or knife and allow them to cool on a plate.
4) Using a stand or hand-held mixer, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Spoon over caramel pastry cream and top with caramelized banana slices.