Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chill Out, and Have Some Banana Cream & Peanut Butter Mousse Pie

Just like Brad and Angelina became "Brangelina", this pie began as two separate pies, adapted from Epicurious (with crust from a third - my own invention) combined into one amazing dessert. Panana? Beanut? Still working on that one. This pie is cold and creamy and tastes like something delicious you should only have once a year. Between all the chilling you do with the various steps of this pie, it's also a great way to beat the heat. And it is freaking hot out there!!!  Note - this is not a good pie to transport someplace in the summer, the amount of cream, although delicious, doesn't hold up to heat. So stay in and enjoy it straight from the fridge. You know you don't want to go outside anyway after 11 am.   I think there is something satisfying about the combination of peanut butter and banana with a little honey - it reminds me of childhood - which was definitely the inspiration for this dessert. That, and I'd put honey on everything. Ask around. I put it in coffee, yogurt. LOVE IT! It's super rich, but totally worth it. The pudding for the banana cream is from scratch as is the peanut butter mouse, as is the crust, but don't let "from scratch" scare you. Each step is pretty easy! Recipe after the jump

Crust (this will look familiar to those of you who have made/had the Gour-Maybe Key Lime Pie)
  • 1 1/4 cups Cinnamon Honey graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/4 cups Gingersnap crumbs 
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp salt
Filling - Banana Cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4-5 large ripe bananas, peeled, cut diagonally 1/4-inch-thick slices
Filling - Peanut Butter Mousse
  • 1 cup Peanut Butter Chips (in the baking/chocolate chip aisle)
  • 2 T Jif, Skippy or other brand of REGULAR creamy peanut butter 
  • 1 3/4 C heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar  
  • Honey for drizzling
  • 1c up Planters Honey Roasted Peanuts, chopped for Topping

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F.Process cookies in a food processor until you have a fine, even crumb. In a  medium bowl, stir gingersnap crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, salt and granulated sugar until combined. Melt butter in microwave. Add unsalted butter and stir to distribute the butter evenly. Press crumbs  into bottom and up sides of 10-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Chill until firm, about 30-45 minutes. Bake crust until set and pale golden, about 15 minutes. Let the crust cool while you prepare the other elements.

For BANANA CREAM filling (layer #1):
Whisk granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt in heavy medium saucepan to combine. Whisk in whipping cream and whole milk gradually until sugar is incorporated in the liquids. Whisk in the egg yolks. Split your vanilla bean with a knife. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pot, and drop in the bean. Whisk this mixture frequently over medium-high heat until custard thickens and boils (large bubbles will break the surface), about 5-7 minutes. Let boil about 30-45 seconds until extremely thick. Remove your pan from heat and set aside. Whisk in unsalted butter and vanilla extract. Transfer custard to large bowl, scoop out vanilla bean. Let the cream/pudding cool completely, stirring about every 10 minutes. Slice your bananas. While you are cooling the pudding, make the peanut butter mousse. 

In the microwave  on 50% power, warm peanut butter chips and 3/4 cup of the whipping cream in a microwave-safe bowl for abut 2 minutes - check it every 30 seconds or so. Whisk in creamy peanut butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Eat a tablespoon of peanut butter just to feel like a kid again. Cool the cream/peanut butter mixture completely. With a hand mixer on high speed beat remaining whipping cream and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl until very thick - so that it is almost holding peaks - pop in freezer for about 5 minutes to get it really cold.
Spread about a cup of the vanilla custard over bottom of your crust. Top with half of sliced bananas, then another cup of custard, covering bananas completely. Repeat with remaining bananas and remaining custard. Sprinkle with a layer of peanuts. Chill 30 minutes. Add peanut butter mousse on top of banana layers, shaping into a bit of a dome. sprinkle with more peanuts and drizzle with honey. Chill banana cream pie until filling is set and crust softens slightly, at least 8 hours  - no more than 24. THIS IS IMPORTANT. If you chill the pudding longer, it will loosen and become runny. So don't throw it in the fridge and think it's going to last all week!


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