Friday, November 5, 2010

The world is my caramelized banana

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This is Amy. You've met her before here. In an ideal world, Amy, Food Network's newest star, Anne Thornton and I would be best friends. We're all blond, we all love rap music and we all love dessert probably more than anyone should. In this little scenario, Anne would come up with the recipes, like this one for Salted Caramel Banana Pudding Pie (her signature dessert), Amy would make it and I would eat it. I mean, they could eat it too, but that would be my job. I have to contribute something right? But Anne lives on the East Coast so we can't live the dream of blasting 'Paul Revere' while becoming charmingly dusted with flour as we bake our 5th batch of something wonderful (you know among other reasons like we have never actually met or that, oh um, she's a tv star). So for now, we'll just have to follow along with her recipes, making sure to keep OUR roles intact - Amy cooking, me eating. I've been looking to incorporate more tutorial type posts in to the blog but I lack time to do it all. Amy will be stepping in to do some posting. We're going to free form it right now and see how it goes. And when I saw this recipe come across my inbox I knew it would be the perfect first dessert for her to make for me, uh, I mean the blog.

Okay, um disregard the order of these photos. I guess, had I actually made it, I would have known what order to put the pictures in...Maybe my current system in flawed, but my stomach is certainly ok with it for now. So per Amy, it was really helpful to be as prepared with all the ingredients, as possible, before you get started. And she'd also like to warn that parts of this recipe are somewhat hard to juggle while caring for kid's at the same time (for example, stirring the pudding continually for 15 minutes). This is a great nap time recipe but there are three steps to it so if your kid sleeps only a short period of time, I would wait until you had an extra hand around the house.

Begin with the crust so that it has enough time to cool completely before assembling. I also want to note that you will see two pies here. She didn't double the recipe but instead made two smaller pies because, well, even though Amy is really nice to me, she wasn't giving up the whole pie. After finishing up the crusts, move on to the vanilla pudding stage. When both of those stages are complete, you are ready to assemble.

This is the easiest part of the recipe. Layer the deliciousness and then let it chill for 2 hours. I spoke with Amy throughout the making of this pie and I have to say she was a bit disappointed in the flavor of the vanilla pudding at this point. Chilling is the key, it seems. When we sampled the chilled dessert, her tune changed. Although I think Amy will maybe even add some vanilla bean to the pudding next time, she's fancy like that.

Amy and I quickly took these photos and then ran inside to taste it. O. M. G! Delicious. I am not a banana lover but this dessert is going to be put on my favorites list. I can't even put in to words the way it all works together. I thought it was perfect. In every way. I almost ate the rest of the pie for my lunch. After all it is a fruit dessert, no?

This is Amy's sink once she was done with the recipe but I sort of feel like there is a salad spinner sticking out in the right side. I guarantee that there wasn't any salad in the dessert I tasted. ;)

Anne Thornton's Salted Caramel Banana Pudding Pie

1 box Nilla Wafers (85 cookies)
6 Tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Finely crush 65 vanilla wafers in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or use a food processor. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the crumbs to top the pie. Mix together crushed vanilla wafers and melted butter until blended. Firmly press on the bottom, up sides, and onto lip of a buttered 9" pie plate. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on a wire race, and allow to completely cool (about 30 minutes).

Vanilla Pudding
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
4 egg yolks
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl whisk together the sugar and the flour. Once it is a fine powder whisk in eggs and egg yolks, continue whisking until a smooth paste is formed. Slowly whisk in one cup of milk, once it is fully incorporated whisk in the remaining cup of milk. Transfer to a heavy bottom sauce pan, cook on medium heat. Whisking constantly cook for 10-15 minutes, or until it reaches the thickness of chilled pudding. When it is ready the pudding will begin to bubble and will be thick enough to hold soft peaks when whisk is lifted. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.

The Pie
3 large ripe bananas (sliced like coins)
1 cup caramel sauce
1 teaspoon fleur de sel
1 recipe vanilla pudding
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract

In a large bowl mix one cup of caramel sauce and 1 teaspoon fleur de sel, add bananas and stir until bananas are coated in salted caramel. Arrange 1/2 of the banana slices evenly over bottom of the crust. Spread half of hot vanilla pudding filling over the bananas, with 20 full vanilla wafers on top of the pudding. Cover vanilla wafers with the remaining banana and salted caramel mixture and spread the remaining vanilla pudding on top. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Whip in almond extract and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over whip, cream will then become lumpy and butter-like. Spread over the pie and garnish with caramel swirl and Vanilla Wafer crumbs.

Amy's notes:
Amy prefers the Trader Joe's Vanilla Wafer cookies for flavor so she would substitute these next time, and there WILL be a next time. She says she used a caramel sauce, also from Trader Joe's, which says it already has fleur de sel in it. Next time she would make a homemade caramel sauce and add the fleur de sel. And since she doesn't like almond extract, she would substitute vanilla next time in the whipped cream.

My notes:
This is freaking tasty and I want to only eat this dessert from now on including for meals. Welcome Amy!!! I look forward to having you blog your little heart out!

Anne will be making the Salted Caramel Banana Pudding Pie and other caramel treats on her Food Network show, Dessert First, this Sunday. Set your DVR's! I also want to tell you that I made her Spiced Coffee after seeing it on last week's show and it was soooo good. Put that recipe in your arsenal for your next brunch. The smell alone is totally welcoming and the taste, divine. Perfect for fall!

(I had to use this post title because when Amy was asking me how I wanted her to do part of this dessert, she told me it was up to me and that "the world is your caramelized banana." What a sweet thought. Way better then grody old oysters any day.)

All images by Amy and I.

1 comment:

Pink Peppermint Paper said...

This sounds like a GREAT plan! Still laughing about the salad spinner comment!



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