I know bananas are often considered a tropical fruit and therefore tropical = Summer flavors- but nothing says “Springtime!” to me more than a slice of freshly baked banana cream pie. Of course, baking one from scratch isn’t always something I have the time or the patience to do- so this past weekend, when the sun was shining and the temperatures were soaring high for the first time in months (I wore shorts, so you know it was gorgeous out!)– I opted to celebrate with a smaller, quicker-to-make version in the form of these mini banana cream pie parfaits.
The great thing about this recipe is that if you’re really crunched for time- there’s a few cheats you can perform if you don’t want to go through this step by step. The taste may be a little different, but it’s still good. I’ll get into those a little later.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
FOR THE CRUST:
- 2 cups vanilla wafers, crushed
- ⅛ cup white sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
FOR THE PUDDING:
- 2 cups almond milk (and it’s your preference if you want it unsweetened or not! I went with sweetened for this batch.)
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds removed
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 ripe bananas
WHAT YOU’LL DO:
MAKE THE CRUST: Place the vanilla wafers and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to break the wafers up and then process for 1-2 minutes until the crackers are the same consistency as the sugar. Add the melted butter and pulse to combine so the crackers look slightly damp. Remove the mixture from the food processor and transfer to a baking sheet. Heat the oven to 375° F.
Bake the crumbles for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
MAKE THE PUDDING: Bring the almond milk and cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks to the sugar mixture and whisk until smooth but thick. While whisking constantly, gradually add the warm almond milk mixture to yolk mixture. Once the 2 mixtures are fully combined, return everything back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thick, about 2–3 minutes. Add the butter and vanilla and stir until the butter has melted entirely.
Transfer everything to a medium bowl; press plastic wrap directly onto surface of pastry cream- and chill until set.
MAKE THE WHIPPED TOPPING: Using an electric mixer or whisk, beat heavy cream and powdered sugar until medium-stiff peaks form. Cover and chill.
ASSEMBLE: Arrange 8 small glasses on a clean surface. Layer in the pudding, whipped cream, sliced bananas and crumbled wafer mixture. Serve with a dollop extra whipped cream.
So if you need these done and served right away (unexpected guests? You’re starving and can’t wait? Whatever the reason)– you can substitute the homemade vanilla pudding with store-bought and the whipped topping with a few spoonfuls of Cool Whip. The textures and the presentation will be exactly the same- but like I said earlier- it’ll just taste a little different; but not in a bad way!
I’m going to be serving these in bulk at my first post-vaccination-garden-party- whenever it’s safe to have one, that is!