Tag Archives: vanilla custard

Banana Cream Pie with Salted Caramel Sauce

Banana Cream Pie with Salted Caramel Sauce

We went to a church fall festival activity tonight, and I brought this banana cream pie as well as this Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie: RECIPE HERE.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie 2

I was not planning on posting the banana cream pie recipe yet, since I only got a couple of not-so-great photos of the whole pie before we left. And there were no left-overs to take a picture of after getting home. But I have had a few requests for the recipe, so I am going to go ahead and post the recipe without the “inside” pictures. So you will just have to imagine layers of flaky crust, salted caramel, bananas, homemade custard filling and whipped cream.

Salted Caramel Sauce 1

And once you have gone to the trouble of making salted caramel, it goes well with just about everything else you might want to drizzle it on.

Salted Caramel Sauce 2

This recipe was inspired by the many Salted Caramel Banana Cream Pies eaten on “Pi Day” at the Kings’ house in Pittsburgh. Not having Tony’s pies to look forward to every year now, I had to buckle down and make one for myself.


Banana Cream Pie with Salted Caramel Sauce

Banana Cream Pie with Salted Caramel Sauce

1 Baked Pie Crust
Vanilla Custard (recipe below)
Salted Caramel (recipe below)
3 Bananas
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs cream cheese, softened

Bake and cool pie crust. Spread 3-4 tablespoons of salted caramel sauce over the bottom of the cooled pie crust. Slice 1 ½ bananas and place in single layer over the caramel sauce. Spoon half of the slightly cooled vanilla custard over the bananas. Slice remaining bananas (slice them thinly) and place over custard. Top with remaining custard filling. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1-2 hours.

Combine cream, powdered sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Mix using an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add cream cheese and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread over chilled pie. Drizzle with additional salted caramel sauce and chill until serving time.

Serve pie with additional Salted Caramel Sauce.

Vanilla Custard
1 cup sugar
4 Tbs cornstarch
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz cream cheese, softened

Combine sugar, cornstarch, milk, cream and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Whisk until well mixed. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Add cream cheese to hot custard about 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir with a whisk until cream cheese is completely melted and custard is smooth. Cool for 15-20 minutes before pouring into pie crust (stir occasionally so that it doesn’t form a skin).

Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
6 Tbs butter, softened and cut into tablespoon-sized chunks
½ cup heavy cream
1 – 1 ½ tsp flaky or coarse sea salt
1 tsp vanilla

Place sugar in a medium to large saucepan (mixture will bubble up and expand as cool ingredients are added to the hot pan). Cook over medium heat until sugar just begins to melt. Stir gently, trying to keep sugar crystals off of the sides of the pan. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts completely and is a medium amber color (about 350°F if you use an instant-read thermometer). Reduce heat to low and quickly whisk in butter chunks, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in cream, whisking constantly. Stir in salt and vanilla. Pour immediately into a glass jar or heat-safe bowl to cool. Do NOT scrape sides or bottom of the pan with a spatula. If you do, you are likely to get sugar crystals into your nice smooth caramel. If the caramel has formed crystals while cooking, you can pour it from the pan through a fine sieve into the jar to remove any crystals before cooling.

Caramel can be kept in a covered jar at room temperature for several weeks.

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Birthday Trifle, Lyme Disease and Baseball

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Last week was a week of highs and lows for our Little A. After contracting Lyme disease last month (and a long month before a definitive diagnosis), he had some unexpected complications on Monday which landed us in Children’s Hospital for the next few days. He was released just in time to celebrate his 9th birthday on Friday: a day full of Pirates baseball (GO BUCS! Who are not only over 500 for the first time in almost 20 years, but are leading their division!) and a family celebration with one of Little A’s favorite desserts: English Trifle. A birthday party with friends on Saturday helped to erase the not-so-fun start to the week.

Trifle 022-1Happy Birthday to an amazing little boy, who was a great example of courage and patience this week.

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Late night photos do not do justice to this dessert. Layers of pound cake, fresh raspberries, strawberries and blueberries, and a homemade vanilla custard were the dessert of choice for my little guy that never eats anything made with chocolate.

Trifle 008-1Leftover Vanilla Custard


English Trifle

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½ – l loaf pound cake, cut into thin cubes (or ladyfingers or angel food cake)
1 quart strawberries, sliced
1 pint blueberries
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
½ cup raspberry jam
1-2 Tbs sugar or small pinch of Stevia extract
Vanilla Custard (see recipe below-or use boxed vanilla pudding)
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs powdered sugar or small pinch of Stevia extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
Toasted almonds, for garnish

Prepare Vanilla Custard or pudding. Cool completely. In a separate bowl, mix fruits, jam and sugar/Stevia.

Layer half of the cake slices, fruit and custard in a large glass serving bowl. Repeat layers. Whip cream with powdered sugar/Stevia and almond extract. Spread on top of the trifle layers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time. Just before serving, sprinkle with toasted almonds.

**NOTE: The exact amounts of cake, fruit and custard that you use will depend on the size of your bowl. Leftovers make great individual parfaits!


Vanilla Custard

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3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch or ClearJel
1 vanilla bean, optional
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 Tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla extract (if not using vanilla bean)

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and vanilla bean (Split bean in half and scrape seeds into the saucepan. Place bean pod in the saucepan as well). Stir in milk and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat. While boiling, cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir 1 cup of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks. Return egg yolk mixture to the saucepan, stirring well. Return custard to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 2 additional minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla extract (if using) and remove vanilla bean pod. Pour into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard (to keep from developing a skin). Chill until cool. Do not stir while custard is cooling.


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Dessert Fondues

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Chocolate and Vanilla Dessert Fondues: what other way could you possibly end an All-Dipping-All-Day Christmas? (Actually, next year I’m thinking butterscotch might be fun to try)

The best part (other than the actual eating) is how simple they are to put together at the last minute. The dipping items: fruit and other not so healthy items, can be prepared ahead of time. And it look less than 10 minutes to make both of the fondue mixtures.

It would be hard to do a day of fondue without ending it with a chocolate fondue. This was definitely everyone’s favorite dish (except Little A, but he was perfectly happy with his vanilla version).

I made a Dark Chocolate Fondue, but you could easily adjust that based on what kind of chocolate you use. The recipe is embarrassingly simple: heat some heavy cream in the microwave, pour it over some chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli Bittersweet), add some vanilla and a dash of salt and stir.

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The Vanilla Custard Fondue was only slightly more complicated, as it did require a pan on the stove. For this fondue, I adapted a simple stirred custard recipe. Normally it would be cooked, chilled and eaten as a pudding, but it was great warm as a fondue. The custard is made by combining beaten eggs, cream, milk, sugar and a vanilla bean and cooking until the mixture thickens.

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I used two mini crock pots to serve these fondues.

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What to dip in dessert fondues? What can’t you dip!

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Fresh fruit is an obvious great choice (strawberries, kiwi, bananas, melon, pineapple, mangos), but don’t stop there. We also used some dried fruit (apricots are fabulous!). And then there are the not-so-healthy dipping items: cakes (pound cake or angel food cake), unfrosted sugar cookies or shortbread cookies, graham crackers, marshmallows, pretzels, and everyone’s favorite: mini cream puffs!


Dark Chocolate Fondue

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¾ cup heavy cream
6 oz (about 1 cup chips) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tsp vanilla
Dash salt

Heat cream in the microwave for one minute (or on the stove for about 5 minutes). Pour over chocolate. Let stand one minute. Add salt and vanilla and stir until melted. Pour into a mini crock pot or fondue pot. Serve with Dipping Items.

Dipping Items:
Fresh or dried fruit: strawberries, kiwi, bananas, melon, pineapple, mangos, apricots
Pound cake or angel food cake, unfrosted sugar cookies or shortbread cookies, graham crackers, marshmallows, pretzels, mini cream puffs

Vanilla Custard Fondue

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3 beaten eggs
1 ½ cups cream
½ cup milk
¼ cup sugar
½ of a vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract

Split vanilla bean and scrape seeds. Add bean and seeds with remaining ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens. Remove vanilla bean. (Add vanilla extract at the end of cooking if not using vanilla bean) Pour custard into a fondue pot or mini crock pot. Serve with Dipping Items.

Dipping Items:
Fresh or dried fruit: strawberries, kiwi, bananas, melon, pineapple, mangos, apricots
Pound cake or angel food cake, unfrosted sugar cookies or shortbread cookies, graham crackers, marshmallows, pretzels, mini cream puffs


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