Monday, June 4, 2012

deconstructed banana cream pie

I have been a fan of banana cream pie for a long time. It's yummy and usually pretty cheap to purchase. But I've noticed that oddly enough I have a hard time finding a good/convenient pie place here in IL. I would have thought the midwest would be crawling with pie places but they don't even have Marie Callenders or Polly Pies here. Boo. Something similar to banana cream pie would be banana pudding. Good banana pudding will have real pieces of banana mixed in and pieces of graham cracker or Nilla wafers too. Sidebar: have you tried the banana pudding milk shake at Chick-fil-a yet?  If you haven't then you need to get in your car right now and get one. But I digress ... so my love for things banana has led me to today when I thought I'd create my own take on the banana cream pie but deconstructed.

So I put crushed graham cracker on the bottom of an individual trifle bowl and then added frozen banana slices then topped that with whipped topping and garnished with more crushed graham cracker pieces. It's not a pie and it's not banana pudding but it's something in between and yet totally different, you follow? All the same components but deconstructed and put back together. Mark really liked the finished product and it was a very refreshing treat on a hot IL day like today. Frozen banana pieces are still very chewable so don't worry about it breaking your teeth.

Deconstructed Banana Cream Pie, serves 6
3 large bananas, sliced and frozen
6 whole graham cracker sheets (or about 8 Nilla wafers)
whipped topping recipe from Cook's Country (follow link or see below)

1. Slice bananas and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for several hours or overnight. About half a banana will be for one serving. 2. To make a single serving start by crushing half a graham cracker sheet or 4 Nilla wafers and place in the bottom of your individual serving vessel. Next, layer with about 8-11 slices of frozen banana depending on how thick your slices are. Then top with whipped topping using a spoon or pipe in a plastic bag with or without a pastry tip, roughly about 1/4 cup. Lastly, garnish the whipped topping with the remaining half sheet of graham cracker or 4 Nilla wafers. Repeat to finish the other 5 servings.

Whipped Topping (from Cook's Country)
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
3 Tb sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream

With electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth, about 30 seconds. With mixer running, add cream and whip until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.

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