Banana Cream Pie Dessert Shooters

Banana Cream Pie Mini Shooters

Banana Cream Pie Mini Shooters

Each year, I live for that two month period that begins with Halloween and sees me through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. I’m totally grateful that it’s filled with family, fun and way, I mean way too much food. It’s a whirlwind of turkeys, hams, cookies, cakes and lots and lots of sugar. In fact, I think I need  to detox from all the sugar still in my system.

But alas, it’s January 6th and the party’s over. The east coast friends have all gone home, the kid’s back at school and Mama is left jonesing for her next gig. Just business as usual. And so, I set my sights on Super Bowl Sunday.

The truth is, I don’t even like football, (did I just hear a gasp from all over America). But I love all the commercials, and who doesn’t love a good ‘ol half-time show. Ok, so just me. I know it’s a little far in advance, but I’ve already started planning my menu for game day.  For dessert, I decided to serve these Banana Cream Pie Mini Shooters.  Their taste scores a touchdown, but their small size won’t hit ‘ya in the end zone if you know what I mean. I know, lame football humor…

Banana Cream Pie Mini Shooters

Banana Cream Pie Mini Shooters

Banana Cream Pie Dessert Shooters

  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean – split down center
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons baker’s sugar (superfine)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut (optional)
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 1 medium banana
  • 5 graham crackers
  • 1/3 cup almonds (blanched or sliced, optional)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Extra almonds for garnish

Directions 

  1. In a medium size pot over medium heat warm the milk and the vanilla bean just until boiling.  Just as it reaches a boil, remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and the sugar on medium speed until it becomes pale and thick.  Reduce the mixer to low and stir in the flour and cornstarch, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides periodically. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk, and slowly stir the milk into the egg/flour mixture.
  3. Pour this mixture back into your pot and heat gently over a medium heat. Using a wire whisk (if you don’t have one, a wooden spoon will work also),  continuously whisk the mixture until it thickens and comes to a boil. Boil for one minute and keep on whisking so that lumps do not form and the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Remove from the heat and continue to whisk for a minute or two then pour the mixture into a large bowl to cool. Cover the surface of the mixture with plastic wrap so that a skin doesn’t form.
  4. You can make this pastry cream a day in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator.
  5. When you’re ready to use the pastry cream, take the ripe banana and with a fork or the back of a spoon, mash the banana until it’s almost like a puree. Then whisk it into the pastry cream. If you choose to use the coconut, whisk it into the pastry cream.
  6. Place the graham crackers and almonds in a food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs, transfer to bowl and set aside.
  7. In a medium bowl beat (either with a stand mixer with whisk attachment, hand mixer or wire whisk) the heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. You can make the whipped cream in advance too, just cover and keep in the fridge a day in advance.
  8. To assemble the shooters:  Place two teaspoons of the crumbs into the bottom of the shot glass. Slice the remaining banana into 1/2″ slices, and  place the banana on top of the crumbs. You can spoon the pastry cream into the shot glass or you can pipe it in with a pastry bag. Using a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, pipe the whipped cream on top of the pastry cream layer. Garnish with sliced almonds, sliced bananas or toasted coconut.

Makes 10 shooters (approximately 2.5 ounces each)

Banana Cream Pie Dessert Shooter that looks like an Ice Cream Soda

Banana Cream Pie Dessert Shooter that looks like an Ice Cream Soda

Mama’s Tips:

The pastry cream can be made a day in advance. When the cream has cooled, cover the surface with plastic wrap so a skin will not form and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to  use it.

The whipped cream can be made in advance also. Whip the cream until stiff peaks form and then transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

The graham cracker crumbs can be made a day in advance. Just store in a covered container until ready to use.

I add the nuts to the graham crackers because it gives the crumbs some added texture which is a nice compliment to the banana cream. However, if you or someone else has a nut allergy then just eliminate them from the recipe.

Banana Cream Pie Mini Shooters

Banana Cream Pie Mini Shooters

Recipe: Intermediate


Little Mini-Cheesecakes, just a little somethin’, somethin’.

I have this ongoing battle with portion control. Seriously, I have no control over my portions, especially when it comes to dessert. So my answer is little mini-chessecakes. When I entertain and I know I’m having 10 people for dinner, I make only ten of these little cheesecakes. This way, no going back for seconds, no extra large slices. In the end, everyone will thank me. You’ll see.  I don’t know about you, but I have to have dessert. But then, I’m always left with that nagging guilt afterwards if I go too overboard. So this is my solution. Just a little somethin’, somethin’.

But first, if you don’t already have one, you’ll have to go to your local baking supply store and buy a mini-cheesecake pan. I’ve seen them on the internet also. It’s a good investment, about twenty dollars, and I use mine all the time. What I like about cheesecake is that there are so many different flavors and crust combinations you can do. And garnishes, don’t get me started.  Fruit, chocolate, fresh whipped cream…just use your imagination.

One of my favorite recipes is from Williams-Sonoma.  It’s a simple, plain cheesecake, very creamy.  I like to make it with a chocolate cookie crust because I like the color contrast between the cheesecake and the crust. So if you’re in the market for a dessert that exudes silken lusciousness (oh, how dramatic) for your next dinner party, these little individual treats would be perfect.

Mini Cheesecakes

From Williams-Sonoma

  • Cheesecake Crust:
  • 1 cup chocolate cookie, graham cracker, or vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 2 T sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 T unsalted butter, melted

  • The Filling
  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

  1. All the ingredients should be room temperature, especially the cream cheese, so it will beat properly  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees or 325 degrees if you’re using a convection oven.  Lightly coat the cups of the 12-cup mini cheesecake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. The crust: in a small bowl, stir together the cookie crumbs, sugar and salt.  Add the melted butter and stir until combined. Divide the mixture evenly among the cups and, using your fingertips, press it into the bottom.  Bake until the crusts are set, about 10 minutes.  Place the pan on a cooling rack. Now you will reduce the oven heat to 300 degrees (275, convection).
  3. The filling: in the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on low-speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.  Increase the speed to medium-low and add the eggs one at a time,  beating well after each addition.  Add the cream and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and salt and beat until incorporated, about 2 minutes.  It’s important to stop the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl so everything is mixed properly.
  4. Pour the batter into the crusts, dividing it evenly among the cups.  Bake until the cheesecakes are set, about 20 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before unmolding.
  5. To unmold:  Using your fingertip, poke the bottom of the cup gently upwards. Use a butterknife to detach the cheesecake from the bottom of the mold.  If the cheesecakes are sticking to the pan bottom, just run a toothpick around it to loosen it from the cup.  
Makes 12 mini cheesecakes