Banoffee Pie

A hybrid word of sorts, banana and toffee, but in the most delightful and addictive way. This is your new banana cream pie recipe to share with friends that has a hidden layer of dulce caramel sauce between the crust and bananas. My friends want me to start delivering this pie to their houses, it's that good, and it's becoming a signature dessert over at the oyster bar. The use of gelatin in the heavy cream allows for a certain spectacle of height to the diplomat cream topping and also helps to set the pastry when slicing. Feel free to omit that step, but make sure you're serving the whole pie at once or you will be left alone to continuously sop up the caramel sauce and pastry cream with your fingers...which isn't a bad thing at all! Makes one 11-inch pie, or 6 mini 4-inch tarts.
2OZSunsalted butter
2OZSbrown sugar
7OZSdulce de leche
1 ½CUPSwhole milk or cream, or a mix
4Xegg yolks
½CUPgranulated sugar
¼CUPall purpose flour
1TSPNvanilla extract
1 ½CUPSheavy cream, for the whipped cream
3Xlarge bananas, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1Xbaked graham cracker pâte sucrée tart shell, or traditional pre-baked pastry shell
2OZSdark chocolate, optional, for the garnish
2TSPNSunflavored gelatin powder, optional

For the Dulce layer:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the brown sugar, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved into the butter, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the dulce de leche, and whisk until smooth and heated through. Pour into the pre-baked tart shell, spreading an even layer, then top with banana slices in concentric circles until whole pie is covered with pieces of banana.

For the pastry cream:

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the milk and begin to warm it. Do not let it come to a boil. Set a strainer over a small bowl for later use.
  2. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour and a pinch of salt.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks into the sugar mixture until it forms a thick paste. 
  4. To temper the egg mixture, continually whisk while adding in a small portion of the heated milk, so as not to cook the eggs. Continue to whisk in the milk until it has been fully incorporated into the egg mixture.
  5. Transfer that mixture back into the saucepan to begin thickening the pastry cream.
  6. Cook the pastry cream over medium-low heat and continue to whisk until the pastry cream begins to thicken, about 6 minutes. If you stop whisking for a few seconds, and bubbles begin to puff up to the surface, then the pastry cream is set.
  7. Whisk a few more times, remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract.
  8. Strain the pastry cream into the bowl set with the strainer. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and set in the fridge to chill.

For the whipped cream:

  1. In a small saucepan, add the heavy cream and sprinkle the gelatin powder over the top of the cream. Allow to soften for 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat to medium, and whisk the gelatin into the heavy cream and warm through to dissolve, about 8 minutes. 
  3. Transfer to a bowl and set in the fridge to chill until ready to whip and top the pie.

For layering the banoffee pie:

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the gelatin-cream mixture until stiff peaks begin to form. 
  2. Carefully fold the pastry cream into the whipped cream.
  3. Gently spread the diplomat cream [the combination of pastry cream and whipped cream] on top of the banana slices in the tart shell. 
  4. Set in the fridge for 1 hour, garnish with chocolate shavings, then serve!

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