Author Notes: My inspiration for this tart is the banana cream filling from Bubby's Pie Co. in NYC. A layer of lemony banana slices rolled in vanilla flavored sour cream line the bottom of the buttery cookie crust. (One I love from Martha Stewart). The bananas are then covered with a blanket of rich vanilla pudding, generously flavored with specks of vanilla bean. An ample topping of freshly whipped cream turns this into a dessert that is sure to bring a smile to any banana cream lover's face. —dinner at sheila's
1 and 1/4
cups ap flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for dusting
tablespoons (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Vanilla Pudding (makes 3 cups)
cups whole milk
vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
cup suagr, divided
cup egg yolks (about 6 yolks)
tablespoons (1/2 stick unsalted butter, cubed)
- In a large, heavy non-reactive saucepan (aluminum reacts and will cause a pudding to turn grey), combine the milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the vanilla bean and salt.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks, remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch until smooth.
- Have the whisk, a ladle and a large glass or ceramic dish handy. Heat the milk mixture in the saucepan til it just comes to a boil, whisking a bit as it gets steamy. When you see the first bubbles boiling up, take the pan off the heat and place it on a potholder next to the egg mixture. (To make it a little easier. put the egg bowl on the right if you're right-handed, or on the left if you're left-handed. Use your stronger arm to whisk; use your weaker arm to ladle the hot milk.
- During the next steps, stir constantly to prevent the eggs from coagulating.This is quick work. Take a ladleful of hot milk and pour it in a thin stream into the eggs, whisking constantly. Continue stirring, and add a few more ladlefuls of hot milk to the eggs in the same way.
- The tempered eggs are now ready to add back into the hot milk. to do this, whisk the hot milk constantly and pour the tempered eggs in slowly.
- When fully combined, put this mixture back on the stovetop over medium heat and continue to whisk constantly. The mixture should come back to a boil very quickly. When the custard nears the consistency of pudding, take very short pauses in stirring to look for signs of a bubble surfacing(it is more like a single volcanic blurp).
- When you see the first blurp, remove the pan from the heat immediately and whisk in the cubes of butter.
- Whisk until fully combined and immediately pour the pudding into a large glass or ceramic dish to cool it down. While the pudding is still very hot, stretch plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding. Smooth out any air pockets to make the pudding airtight. This will prevent a skin or condensation from forming on top of the pudding.
- Refrigerate the pudding until completely cold-at-least 4 hours.
- Stir the cold pudding and retrieve the vanilla bean. Squeeze out the excess seeds (those little black specks) in the interior of the pod with your thumb and forefinger-pinch and slide your fingers down the length of the bean, freeing the black seeds as you go. So this with each half of the bean, returning as many seeds as possible to the pudding. discard the pod.
- Banana Layer
- 4 medium size ripe bananas, slice 1/4 inch thick-(select ripe bananas without any spots or green near the stem)
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Slice the bananas to get about 3-4 cups and immediately toss them in the lemon juice to prevent them from browning. Stir in the sour cream gently.
- Layer the coated bananas in the tart crust, and flatten them gently. Layer the pudding on top and smooth it with a spatula.
- Refrigerate the tart, covered with plastic wrap for at least 2 hours, and preferably more, before adding the whipped cream.
- Whipped Cream
- 1 and 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, very cold
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Chill the stainless steel bowl and whipping attachment in the freezer while preparing the tart.
- In the chilled bowl with the chilled whisk attachment beat the heavy cream, slowly at first til frothy. Add the sugar, and increase speed, beating until cream is sufficiently whipped.
- Place whipped cream in a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip and decorate the tart, or simply spoon it on top.