Today’s recipe is Emeril’s Banana Cream Pie. I chose this favorite to remind everyone that VisitOrlando’s Magical Dining Month is coming up. From Aug. 29-Oct. 2, restaurants all over Central Florida will be offering amazing three-course dining deals for just $33. And $1 from each meal will be donated to The Russell Home for atypical children. That is calories for a great cause, my friends. Check out for menus from all the participating restaurants.

Emeril’s Banana Cream Pie
Yield: 8-10 servings

4 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups plus 2 teaspoons sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped
3 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 pounds firm, ripe Florida bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Graham cracker crust
Caramel and chocolate sauces (see notes), shaved chocolate and confectioners’ sugar for garnish

1. Stir 2 cups cream, milk, 1/2 cup sugar, bean and seeds on medium. At gentle boil, whisk to dissolve sugar. Set aside.
2. Whisk yolks, eggs, cornstarch, 1 cup sugar until pale yellow. Whisk 1 cup of hot cream mix into yolks. Gradually whisk egg mix into hot cream. Simmer, stirring with wooden spoon 5 minutes. (If mix separates beat until thick and smooth.) Strain; cover with plastic, pressing against surface to prevent skin from forming. Chill 4 hours.
3. Spread 1/2 cup custard on crust. Arrange not quite 1/3 of bananas in tight pattern on custard, pressing to pack. Repeat using 3/4 cup custard and enough bananas to cover. For third layer, spread 3/4 cup custard on bananas. Top with remaining bananas, starting 1-inch from edge. Top bananas with 1 cup of custard. Cover; chill 4-24 hours.
4. Whip remaining cream to soft peaks. Add remaining sugar and vanilla and whip to stiff peaks. Cut pie into 10 equal slices. Transfer to plates. Fill pastry bag with whipped cream and pipe onto each slice. Drizzle slices with caramel and chocolate sauces. Add garnishes.
Caramel sauce: Combine 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons water and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice in pan on medium-high. Stir until sugar dissolves. Let boil without stirring until mixture turns deep amber, 2-3 minutes. Watch closely so it doesn’t burn. Whisk in 1/2 cup heavy cream and remove from heat. Add 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup whole milk, 2 tablespoons at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Makes generous 3/4 cup.
Chocolate sauce: Scald 1/2 cup half-and-half and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in heavy pan on medium heat. Remove from heat. Place 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate chips and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in heat-proof bowl. Add hot half-and-half. Let sit 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Serve warm. Sauce can be refrigerated for several days, but it must be at room temperature to serve. Makes 1 1/2 cups.
Recipe note: Emeril’s Orlando is at 6000 Universal Blvd. in Orlando at Universal CityWalk. For dining information call 407-224-2424.

Click here to visit Heather’s Florida Kitchen.


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