Tartine’s Caramel Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate

This banana cream pie hold a delicious secrete at the bottom that is oozing with smooth caramel and chocolate.
By Eileen Troxel

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I served a Banana Cream Tart (recipe from bakery par excellence, Tartine, in San Francisco) at my New Year’s Day Brunch. It was my favorite part of the meal.

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It’s a lengthy recipe with several components. There’s the tart dough, the pastry cream, the caramel sauce, and then… the assembly. But what you need to know is, you do not have to do this in one day. The caramel sauce will keep for many days in your refrigerator. The pastry cream can also be made ahead of time. I made mine the day before New Years, and just used the last bit of it today… three days later. And the tart dough… make it days or weeks ahead and freeze until needed… simple!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Tartine's Caramel Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate
 
This banana cream pie hold a delicious secrete at the bottom that is oozing with smooth caramel and chocolate.
Author:
Recipe Type: Dessert, Baking
Serves: 1 tart
Ingredients
  • Fully baked and cooled 10-inch tart dough pie shell, recipe below (I made Tartine's tart dough recipe for this tart, but I'm giving you a recipe for another favorite tart dough of mine)
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup very cold, heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ⅓ cup caramel, recipe below
  • 2½ cups cold pastry cream, recipe below
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  • 3 ounce bittersweet chocolate bar, for making curls (a thick piece of chocolate helps in making the curls)
PASTRY CREAM:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
CARAMEL:
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ vanilla bean
  • 1¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • ¾ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
TART DOUGH:
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 10 tablespoons butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 egg
Instructions
PASTRY CREAM:
  1. Have at the ready a bowl for cooling the pastry cream with a fine-mesh sieve placed on top.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and sugar. Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Pour milk into a heavy saucepan. Split the vanilla bean half lengthwise and using the tip of a small knife, scrape the vanilla seeds from the bean and transfer to the milk. Add the salt and place the saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to just under a boil, stirring occasionally and making sure that the milk solids are not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. When the milk is ready, slowly ladle about one-third of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the hot milk and and continue to whisk over medium heat until the mixture is as thick as lightly whipped cream. It must come just to a boil -- there is a fine line between thickened and curdled cream. Remove from the heat and immediately pour through the sieve into the bowl. (If left in the pan too long, the pastry cream will continue to cook.) Let cool for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to release heat.
  5. When the pastry cream has cooled (about 140?F), stir in the butter one piece at a time, whisking until smooth before adding the next piece.
  6. To cool the cream, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and press the plastic onto the pastry cream. This will keep the pastry cream from developing a skin. Place in refrigerator to chill. Do not whisk the pastry cream once it is cold. Doing that will break down and thin the cream.
CARAMEL:
  1. Pour the heavy cream into a small, heavy saucepan. Split the vanilla bean, and using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape the seeds from the bean and add to the milk. Place pan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to just under a boil. Reduce the heat to low to keep the milk warm.
  2. In a medium , heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water, salt, and corn syrup (I used a deep sauté pan. When the hot cream is added, the caramel will boil at first and increase in volume.) Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Then cook, without stirring, until the mixture is amber colored, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Very carefully and slowly, add the cream to the sugar syrup. The mixture will boil furiously at first, but will then simmer down. Whisk until smooth. Add the lemon juice and let mixture cool for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the butter to the caramel, one piece at a time, whisking constantly after each addition. Whisk the caramel occasionally as it continues to cool. The caramel will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 month.
TART DOUGH:
  1. Combine salt, flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Process briefly. Add butter and pulse until until the size of peas. Add egg and process just until the dough begins to come together. Press into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 2 hours before rolling dough. Bake the tart shell, lined with foil and weighted with dried beans, at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until golden.
ASSEMBLY
  1. Have the fully-baked pastry shell ready for filling. Melt the chopped bittersweet chocolate either by short bursts in a microwave oven or in a stainless steel bowl placed over a pot of simmering water. Do not let the stainless steel bowl touch the water. Stir until the chocolate has just melted; remove from heat. Using the back of a spoon, spread the melted chocolate over the base of the pastry shell. Transfer pastry to refrigerator to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. While chocolate is chilling, pour the heavy cream into a mixing bowl and using either a hand-held whisk or an electric mixer, whisk cream until it begins to thicken. Add the sugar and continue to whisk until it holds medium-firm peaks.
  3. Remove from the pastry crust from the refrigerator. Drizzle the caramel evenly over the chocolate. If the caramel has been stored in the refrigerator, warm in a microwave or by setting the container in a bowl of hot water until desired consistency.
  4. Spoon the chilled pastry cream evenly over the chocolate and caramel. It is not necessary to stir the pastry cream when you remove it from the refrigerator. Take the sliced bananas and evenly cover the top of the pastry cream, gently pressing the bananas into the pastry cream.
  5. Top the tart with the billowy whipped cream and finish with a sprinkling of chocolate curls. To make the chocolate curls, warm the bar of chocolate, but do not melt! I placed my bar briefly on the top of my oven while the tart shell was baking. Use a vegetable peeler or a chefs' knife and run it across the top of the chocolate to create the curls -- I prefer using a vegetable peeler.
  6. Chill the tart for at least 3 hours after assembly and serve the pie cool. (I pull my tart from the refrigerator about 45 minutes before I plan to serve it.) It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

 

Eileen Troxel

Eileen Troxel

I grew up in the Amana Colonies in Iowa; a German community made up of seven villages, where gardening, cooking, and hand-made were the center of our lives. I went on to study fiber at the Kansas City Art Institute and for many years created one-of-a-kind, crocheted linen bags that were sold through galleries, museums, and boutiques across the country. I have also restored Oriental rugs, done graphic design, worked as a colorist, catered, consulted (on whatever...) and raised two beautiful daughters. I now spend my days in my kitchen baking and asking myself, "Why didn't I go to France and study pastry?" I am now making up for lost time, sharing with you what I love to do most in the kitchen.

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5 Comments
  1. Wonderful home cook and artistry Eileen puts into her food and presentations…We grew up in a town with communal kitchens cooking for 50 people in each of some 60 kitchens….the love of food and cooking has carried on in the troxel kitchen and it shows!

  2. Eileen is the best in creating delicious food! Her compassion in the kitchen is a great gift to all of us in the family and friends. Everything she makes is outstanding! I hope I get to try this sometme at her house! Keep on creating with a palette of foods Eileen!
    Sister in law…Nancy

  3. This was just delicious!! Perfect as written but would be equally wonderful without the chocolate layer. Definitely recommend making the crust, custard and caramel a day or two ahead of time but it can be made (and eaten!) the same day like we did. Next time I will add a third banana; it was so good, I almost forgot it was banana cream!! ???? Don’t miss baking this one! Thank you for the recipe!

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