Banana cream pie is one of those simple desserts that is as comforting as it is delicious. Amp things up with this elevated version from Dominique Ansel featuring a speculoos crust filled with flambéed bananas, pastry cream and whipped mascarpone for an out-of-this-world pie worth the effort.
Bonus: You can even make most elements of this pie a day in advance. Prepare the mascarpone Chantilly right before serving to ensure it holds up when piped. We promise this is going to be your new favorite pie recipe.
To learn more, read “Pie by Night."
Speculoos Banana Cream Pie
Recipe adapted from Dominique Ansel, Dominique Ansel Kitchen, New York, NY
Yield: One 9-inch pie
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
For the Crust:
3½ cups (14 ounces) crushed speculoos cookies
¾ cup milk powder
¼ cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2½ sticks unsalted butter, melted
For the Pastry Cream:
2¼ cups whole milk
⅔ cup sugar, divided
2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped
5 tablespoons cornstarch
9 large egg yolks
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
For the Flambéed Bananas:
¾ cup dark brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
⅓ cup orange juice
¼ cup dark rum
For the Vanilla Mascarpone Chantilly:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup mascarpone
¼ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1. Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350°. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the ingredients, except for the butter, and mix until incorporated. With the motor running, stream in the melted butter and continue to mix until combined.
2. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch pie tin and, using a flat-bottomed cup, press the crumbs down and along the sides to form an even crust. Bake just to set the crumbs, 5 minutes, then let cool completely.
3. Make the pastry cream: In a large pot, bring the milk, ⅓ cup of the sugar and the vanilla to a simmer, then remove from the heat. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining ⅓ cup of sugar with the cornstarch. Slowly whisk in ½ cup of the milk mixture, followed by the egg yolks one at a time, until incorporated.
4. Whisk the egg mixture back into the pot of milk and return to medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes, then continue whisking for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and add in the cubed butter. Whisk until smooth, then transfer to a bowl, cover and let cool in the fridge.
5. Meanwhile, make the flambéed bananas: In a medium skillet, melt the brown sugar and butter over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon and sliced bananas, and cook until the bananas begin to caramelize, 5 to 6 minutes.
6. Deglaze the pan with the orange juice and rum. Remove the pan from the heat. Using a long lighter or match, flambé the bananas until the rum cooks off, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool completely.
7. Make the vanilla mascarpone Chantilly: In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and, using a handheld immersion blender, blend until smooth. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a St. Honore pastry tip and refrigerate until ready to use.
8. Assemble the pie: Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the bananas and layer in the bottom of the pie shell, discarding any extra liquid. Spread the pastry cream in an even layer over the bananas, then pipe the Chantilly in a zigzag pattern over top.
9. Chill for 1 hour to set, then slice and serve.
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