I have never been a banana lover. As a child I would eat almost anything except bananas and PB&Js. When I was older I found that if the banana was still firm and green on the seams they were not too bad. Last year; however, I discovered these little bananas only about 4 inches long and wow are they good, they are so sweet. I could almost say that they have turned me into a banana lover.
I heard an interview on NPR last year with a man that was a banana expert and he said that the bananas that we know in the US are susceptible to a banana killing fungus and that bananas in the US will change. He also side that the bananas that we import are hardy but lack greatly on flavor. He also said that there are 100 different verities of bananas and most people have no idea what they are missing. When I saw these new bananas in the store I had to try and I have to say I am happy that I did.
I am not sure what these little bananas are called. A Goolge search gave me several names that they might be such as Se orita and banana-ouro and from the photos they look about right. I had a few that were a little riper then I like and because I was feeling ambitious I thought I would try may hand at Banana Cream Pie...by the way I had never had banana cream pie before.
I took "Moms" quick pie crust recipe...
1 1/2 c flour
2 t sugar
1 t salt
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 T milk
Combine ingredients to form a soft pastry dough. It will be really soft, not like a rolled out crust. Press evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9" pie pan with your fingers
I then blind baked the crust at 400F for?... until it was brown. I know it is not pretty but it works.
I then sliced the bananas and toss with a little lemon juice to keep them from turning brown then line the baked crust with the tiny sweet bananas.
I made half of the pastry cream recipe my Husband likes. all the following was halved and it worked out fine.
3 Cups Milk
Seeds scraped from one vanilla bean - or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. If you are using vanilla extract it is added when the cream is finished cooking.
8 egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
In a 3 quart saucepan combine the milk and vanilla bean seeds. Heat just below the boiling point (scalding).Using an electric mixer (with whisk attachment if available) beat the egg yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl until they lighten in color. Stir in the cornstarch.
Pour about 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture (this is called tempering), whisking continuously to incorporate. Whisk the tempered egg mixture back into the remaining hot milk, and place the saucepan back on the heat. Cook on medium high heat, stirring constantly with the whisk, until the mixture comes to the boil. Reduce heat and boil for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and gently whisk in the butter.
Strain the pastry cream into a bowl and pure over the banana lined crust.
With the 4 egg whites I has I made meringue by whipping the whites with 1/2 cup sugar until then were stiff and shinny and then covered the pie, sealing the edges, with the meringue and place under a low broiler until the peeks were a little browned. Chill.
I really liked the pie but the kids loved it so much that they are still talking about it. This is a must make again. hummmm maybe for Thanksgiving.