A few weeks ago I was laying in bed late at night, dreaming up the creation I have for you today. Mind you, it’s nothing all that ground breaking… but it sure is delicious! A layer of rich pastry cream, fresh bananas, whipped cream, caramel sauce, and a graham cracker crust. Each element is pretty tasty on it’s own, but when layered together they create a pretty amazing dessert!
- Vanilla Pastry Cream (recipe below)
- Bananas (I used two bananas for 6 small dessert servings)
- Good quality caramel sauce, or dulce de leche.
- Fresh whipped cream (I used 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream and 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar)
- Graham Cracker crumble (recipe below)
Vanilla Pastry Cream:
2/3 cup sugar (can be reduced to 1/2 cup if you prefer desserts less sweet)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)
In a medium bowl, beat eggs with a fork to combine. Set aside.
Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually pour in milk, while whisking, to make a smooth mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils. Continue to cook and stir one minute.
Pour several tablespoons of the hot mixture into the bowl with the eggs and immediately stir well. Pour warmed egg mixture into the pan with the rest of the hot milk mixture. Return to a slow boil, and cook one minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Set aside to cool. When the pan has cooled, place in the refrigerator to fully cool. If desired, lay a piece of plastic wrap on the top surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming.
Graham Cracker Crumble:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 full sized crackers)
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 Tablespoon sugar
Crush crackers in a large ziplock type bag. Pour crumbs, sugar and melted butter into a bowl and , stir until fully combined. Pour into a 9″x13″ casserole dish and press into a even layer. Bake at 350*F for 10-12 minutes, until light brown. Allow to cool.
(pictured below as well)
- Spoon about 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumble into individual serving dishes. Use a small glass to press the crumble into a firm layer (as pictured below).
- Add a layer of pastry cream into each dish. For easy assembly, fill a large ziplock type bag with the pastry cream, snip off the end and fill the dishes from this bag.
- Add a few slices of banana.
- Top bananas with a layer of whipped cream.
- Add some graham cracker crumble and a drizzle of caramel (scoop caramel or dulce de leche into a small ziplock bag and snip off the end for easy application).
Repeat layers 2-5
Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 3 hours. Top with a slice of fresh banana just before serving.
Note: I used 6 small dessert dishes. If you make 6 desserts, you will have pastry cream and graham cracker crumble left over. If you want to make more desserts, or one large trifle dish, you will have enough pastry cream and graham cracker crumble for 10-12 individual desserts. For a large trifle, or more than 6 individual desserts I would double the amount of whipped cream listed above.
Alterations: The recipes posted above are what I used, if you’d like to experiment with substitutions, such as using prepared pudding mix in place of the pastry cream, or cool whip in place of the whipped cream, feel free, but I can not attest to the results.
Press graham cracker crumble into individual dishes.
Add a layer of pastry cream and bananas.
Top bananas with whipped cream, graham cracker crumble and caramel. Repeat layers
Enjoy your Valentine’s Day.