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Banana Cream Tart

Besides coffee, bananas are staples in my diet. Like clockwork, my body craves cinnamon oatmeal topped with sliced bananas. I can’t stop it; it’s like my body goes on autopilot. They make a fine couple with peanut butter; in fact, I remember munching on peanut butter and bananas while I was kid. Some would call me monkey, and I’d happily agree. My appetite for bananas was practically inherited as bananas wee a main staple in my mom’s childhood. Other tropical fruits like mangoes, papayas, and pineapple along with bananas are her favorites so it is no surprise that I grew up loving them as well.

However, bananas are fickle creatures. Soft, sometimes mushy. Sweet, almost to the point of too sweet. I have a couple of friends who run at the sight of a banana. “Too mushy and too sweet,” they claim. Their reactions baffle me as bananas play a healthy role in the everyday-diet. Full of potassium and fiber, runners rely on bananas to give them a good boost before a run.

But I am not here to talk about the healthy banana. I doubt my doctor would be proud to hear that after making this banana walnut tart, I almost devoured the entire pan. That would probably not make me her patient of the year. Although I dare her to look this tart in the eye and not fall in love with it.

Perfectly baked pie crust with layers of sweet pastry cream and sliced bananas. To make it even more sweet (and who doesn’t like that), fresh whipped cream is piled high, making the tart seem heavenly and ethereal. When I grabbed it from the fridge, I smiled in satisfaction. Now this was a dessert meant to impress many, unlike that other cake that from here on out will NEVER be mentioned again. After that disaster, I was doubting my kitchen skills and feeling a little insecure about myself. However, once I tasted this tart, I knew my mojo had come back to me. (Ok, I am slightly delusional but I swear it felt like a kitchen curse was upon me!)

Anyways, this tart is good for those who want to make a treat ahead of time as all the components can be made the day before and assembled hours before served. I made the tart dough and pastry cream two days before serving, and saved the whipped cream for last. The tart dough was extremely easy and barely required any patching. Ken Haedrich surely knows his stuff and I think his recipes produce the tastiest of tarts. They are easy, not touch-sensitive, and don’t fall apart upon baking. My limited experience with tart dough has been from playing with recipes from Dorie Greenspan, Martha Stewart, and Nick Malgeiri but I can tell Ken Haedrich knows his stuff. Plus, the recipes I’ve made from him (Lemon Curd Pie,  Pumpkin Praline Pie) are my Slow Like Honey favorites.

Many love those sky-high Banana Cream pies served at local diners, and I admit, I drool when I see them too. But halfway through my slice, my stomach starts to rebel and I am left with major digestive issues. Instead of going the original pie route, I decided to make it a less-heavy tart. You can finish a whole slice without wanting to curl up in the fetal position and die. In fact, if you eat a big brunch and eat a slice of this tart as your mid-afternoon snack, I bet you would have enough room for a second slice right before bedtime. You know, I just imagine that would be possible. It’s not like I have done that before… right…

Crazy about bananas? Try these recipes:
Date and Banana Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce via Butter Sugar Flour
Caramel Walnut Upside Down Banana Cake via Smitten Kitchen
Banana Chocolate Chunk Ice Crem via Love and Olive Oil
Yeasted Banana Bread Waffles via Seven Spoons
Double Chocolate Banana Espresso Muffins via Chocolate Shavings

Banana Cream Tart
Origin: “Pie” by Ken Haedrich
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 5 hours

1 recipe all-butter crust, baked and cooled

● 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
● 1/3 cup cornstarch
● 1/8 tsp salt
● 3 cups whole milk
● 3 large egg yolks
● 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
● 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

● 1 cup heavy whipping cream
● 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
● 3 medium ripe bananas

Prepare the crust, and let cool as directed.

Once crust is cooled, cut 1 banana into quarters lengthwise and place on top of the crust.

Combine the granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Whisk in the milk and egg yolks. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring more or less continuously until the mixture thickens and bubbles, 5 to 7 minutes, Continue to cook, whisking continuously for about 1 minute, Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and butter, one piece at a time.

Pour the filling into chilled pie shell, smoothing the top. Gently press a piece of plastic wrap against the filling to help keep a skin from forming. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to finish assembling the pie, make the topping. Using a chilled medium-size bowl and chilled beaters, beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer until it won’t quite hold soft peaks. Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue to beat until it is stiff but not grainy. Smear a thin layer of the topping over the filling, using no more than half of it. Cut the rest of the bananas into quarters lengthwise, then cut them crosswise into small chunks, letting them fall over the pie. Arrange the chunks in a more or less single layer, then mound the remaining topping over the top. You can also pipe on the topping using a pastry bag.

Refrigerate until ready to serve, preferably not longer than an hour. There is no need to cover the pie for an hour but beyond that, cover with loosely tented aluminum foil

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May 24, 2010 - 12:33 pm

Rose D. NJ, USA - Oh!!!! Delightful, absolutely delightful…

May 24, 2010 - 1:09 pm

Maddie - I am somewhat ashamed to admit that my freezer door is stacked with ultra-ripe bananas. While I was a little sad to see that this incredible-sounding recipe called for fresh bananas (not overripe and mashed, the ones I NEED to get rid of!), I appreciate all the other banana-y baked good links. You’d be proud to hear how often I make the whole wheat banana bread you posted about last fall, but I think it’s time to find a new banana favorite from your archives. :)

May 24, 2010 - 1:10 pm

Noemi - I love all things banana. This tart looks amaaaaazing.

May 24, 2010 - 1:38 pm

Nisrine@Dinners and Dreams - It looks totally delicious. Well done!

May 24, 2010 - 6:26 pm

Dana - Banana cream pie is one of my all-time favorites. Yum.

May 25, 2010 - 11:41 am

Vicki - I’ve loved bananas since I was a child. Someone even signed my yearbook “to a girl who loves bananas to much”! My reply, “you can never love bananas to much”

I’m going to have to try some of your recipes!

May 26, 2010 - 1:57 am

tiina { sparkling ink } - I’m going through some pie obsession currently. I have made lots of rhubarb pie, and had it with lots of whipped cream. This recipe sounds like the perfect next step!:)

May 26, 2010 - 5:35 am

Amanda - it is one of my favorites now too!

May 26, 2010 - 5:35 am

Amanda - me too! i’m bored with cookies and cakes. I think I need a bigger challenge :)

May 26, 2010 - 8:06 am

Mary - Oh, YUM! I need to try this. Never made anything like this before and this looks so fab!

Delightful Bitefuls

May 27, 2010 - 12:26 am

Bites from other Blogs | That's Cooking! - [...] you fill up after only a few bites. You won’t have that problem with Slow Like Honey’s Banana Cream Tart. This tart packs all the flavor of a big banana cream pie, but in a much more compact form. My [...]

May 27, 2010 - 3:41 am

Adriana from Baking Powders - i love bananas in any way, this makes me drool, SO MUCH! looks delicious and refreshing, summery, tropical! ahhhh, perfect dessert for a 3 day weekend!

May 27, 2010 - 1:12 pm

Sarah from 20somethingcupcakes - Ok – so I just discovered your blog from Baking Bites…and after this post alone, I am in love. I love nothing more than a good banana cream pie, and I think this will be my reward when I allow myself to make dessert again (I’ve forced myself on a hiatus). And I so know what you mean about those pies from the diner – still, they get me every time. xxSAS

May 27, 2010 - 1:59 pm

The Food Hunter - How lucky I am that I have banana’s just waiting to be turned into a cream tart!

May 30, 2010 - 1:18 am

Katy - Seriously, this looks SO good! I have to make this very soon.

May 30, 2010 - 4:36 pm

Things to Write Home About – 5/30/10 | Feels Like Home - [...] Amanda at Slow Like Honey posted banana cream tart [...]

June 1, 2010 - 1:16 pm

Caitlin - Mmm looks great! I eat bananas nearly every day, might as well start putting them in my desserts as well!

June 10, 2010 - 3:23 am

Emma @CakeMistress - Wowzers. Your photography is stunning. Seeing those gooey insides running down the sides of the slice = heaven.

June 17, 2010 - 2:29 pm

Josie - Oooh, I *love* that you can make all the components ahead of time and just whip the cream and assemble when ready….this goes to the top of my must-try-soon list!

July 9, 2010 - 2:08 pm

Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen - not sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but i love it! i love banana creme pie, and to be honest, all things banana. this tart looks amazing!

September 27, 2010 - 8:58 am

Banana Cupcakes + Peanut Butter frosting « Slow Like Honey - [...] a banana-lover, I don’t bake with it a lot. Well, that’s not true. I’ve made a Banana Cream Tart, Banana Cake, Banana Nut Bread, and Banana [...]

April 6, 2012 - 9:01 am

Easter Delights + Happy Weekend » Slow Like Honey - [...] Banana Cream Tart  // Lemon Custard Pie  // Lemon Curd Layer Cake  // Peanut Butter Pie Filed in: baking | holidays | sweetsTagged in: baking | cake | dessert | easter | holiday « Take Me to the West Coast [...]

June 23, 2012 - 9:02 pm

make this now: coconut banana cream pie | - [...] banana coconut loaf and realized that nothing could go wrong with this union. Inspired by Amanda of Slow Like Honey’s delicious banana cream tart, I took the easy route and snagged a pre-made pie crust and got to [...]

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