White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie with Salty Bourbon Caramel
This deliciously silky and rich pie is the best banana cream pie I’ve ever had. It has layers of fresh bananas, creamy delicious vanilla custard, and a luscious white chocolate mousse all inside a yummy chocolate cookie crust. However, it is the large spoonful of heavenly salty bourbon caramel sauce that is drizzled over each slice immediately before serving that put this pie off the charts for me. This recipe is a bit complicated and time-consuming but it is most definitely worth it.
White Chocolate Banana Cream Tart adapted from Cuisine at Home Jan/Feb 1999
Salty Bourbon Caramel adapted from Bon Appetit, Published February 2012
For the Crust:
- 1-1/4 cups chocolate oreo cookie crumbs
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the Custard Filling:
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 2-1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 medium bananas, peeled, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
For the Mousse:
- 1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- 1/3 cup reserved custard
- 1-1/4 cups heavy cream, cold
For the Salty Bourbon Caramel:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 tablespoons bourbon, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon corn syrup
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2' cubes
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Step 1: To make the custard filling: Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt in heavy medium saucepan to blend and evenly distribute the dry ingredients.
Step 2: Whisk in egg yolks and mix in the milk immediately. Don't add the sugar directly onto the eggs and let it sit; this causes the yolks to "burn" into hard little lumps that detract from your creamy custard. So make sure your milk is ready to add immediately after you whisk in the egg yolks.
Step 3: Transfer the custard to a heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard is thick, about 6 minutes
Step 4: Remove from heat. Whisk in unsalted butter and vanilla extract. Reserve 1/3 cup for the mousse. Transfer remaining custard to large bowl; cool for about 30 minutes.
Step 5: To make the cookie crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Blend cookie crumbs and brown sugar using a pastry blender to get the lumps out. Add unsalted butter and stir to moisten evenly.
Step 6: Press onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter tart pan. Bake crust until set and pale golden, about 8 minutes. Cool completely.
Step 7: To make the white chocolate mousse: Dissolve the gelatin in 2 tablespoons hot water for 5 minutes. Stir several times to make sure that the gelatin is completely dissolved.
Step 8: Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler, stirring with a heat resistant rubber spatula.Then mix the gelatin into the melted chocolate.
Step 9: In a mixing bowl, blend the 1/3 cup reserved custard into the white chocolate and gelatin mixture. Stir thoroughly. Set aside.
Step 10: Pour the cold heavy cream into a chilled mixing bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.
Step 11: Stir a small amount of the whipped cream into the chocolate just to make it workable. Slowly fold in the the remaining whipped cream with a rubber spatula. Don’t overmix.
Step 12: To make the salty bourbon caramel: Stir sugar, 1 tablespoon bourbon, corn syrup, and 1 tablespoon water in a medium deep saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves.
Step 13: Increase heat, bring to a boil without stirring, and cook, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until sugar is deep amber in color, 6–8 minutes.
Step 14: Remove caramel from heat; whisk in remaining 1/4 cup cream, butter, and salt (mixture will bubble vigorously). Let cool for 5 minutes; whisk in remaining 1/2 tablespoon of bourbon and vanilla. Let bourbon caramel cool slightly.
Step 15: To assemble the pie: Layer sliced bananas randomly in the pie shell and pour the warm custard over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours.
Step 16: Heap the mousse on in a generous layer keeping the center thicker than the edges. Pipe the mousse around the edges of the pie.
Step 17: Serve with bourbon caramel drizzled on each slice.