Let’s get one thing straight: this is not, by any means, your working mom 1970s second wave feminist instant pudding mix banana cream pie. This is serious, serious stuff. If you’re not up for devoting several hours to this pie, you should maybe just buy one instead. But if you are underemployed and obsessed with David Chang like I am, then give this one a try.
David Chang, for those of you not in the know, is the culinary world’s Second Coming of Christ. He revolutionized ramen and other Asian faves. He owns Momofuku which, if you don’t know what it is, you just don’t watch enough Food Network. He also owns Milkbar, which is a dessert restaurant and the origin of this recipe.
I saw this pie made on an episode of The Mind of a Chef, the brainchild of Chang and Anthony Bourdain. The theme of the episode was “rotten,” and the pie was included because it uses bananas that have turned black. I happened to have a few of these lying around (not on purpose) so I figured I would make good use of them.
Here’s how to make the pie.
First, you have to make your cookie crumb crust. I was expecting that you could buy a chocolate cookie crust in much the same way as you buy a graham crust. But unfortunately no. So what you have to do is smash up some chocolate wafers until they make a powder, mix that with some melted butter and a bit of icing sugar, and press it into your pie pan. This is actually the least labour-intensive part of the whole thing, believe it or not. Put this into the fridge now. You'll come back to it in several hours.
Next: In a blender, combine two blackened bananas (sans peels, obvi) with 1/3 cup heavy cream and ¼ cup milk. Puree it until it’s completely smooth. Now add in ½ cup sugar, two tablespoons of cornstarch, half a teaspoon of salt, and three egg yolks. Blend again until smooth. (We aren’t even close to done this pie yet!)
Put the whole blended mixture into a saucepan over medium heat and stir casually until it starts to boil. This is going to activate the cornstarch so that the mixture thickens. It will look something like cement paste at this point. Meanwhile, bloom one packet of unflavoured gelatin in cold water (don’t use too much gelatin, either. I measured a bit off and it was too gelatinous and kind of strange). Once the banana mix is boiling and stirred for two minutes, whisk in the gelatin. Add a silly amount of yellow food colouring until you have cartoon banana yellow. (Otherwise you’ll have a grey pie – not appealing).
Okay, put all that in a bowl and let it cool down for several hours. Tired yet? Maybe have a drink at this point. Once it’s completely cool, whip together ¾ cup heavy cream with 1 cup icing sugar until it forms peaks (mine didn’t, but it’s supposed to). Now slowly fold your cold banana mix into the cream mix. (My banana mix was hard like jello at this point – too much gelatin! – but I just used an electric mixture to combine it all).
It’s finally time to assemble the pie. Take your chocolate crumb crust out of the fridge and pour in half the banana filling. Layer in some slices of banana, then cover with the rest of the banana filling. I garnished with banana half moons around the edge because my crust was uneven. Let sit in the fridge for an hour or so to set up. Slice and enjoy!
And then wait a year or two before you make it again, because it was so much work!
|My finished pie! Just kidding - it's David Chang's.|
|This one is mine. Ha! Not as pretty.|