When my husband was an toddler his pediatrician forbade his mother from feeding him any more bananas, due to unexpected weight gain. I guess he really never lost his taste for bananas. And, really, has never looked happier than I saw him tonight dipping my “Too-damned-many-bananas banana bread” into this banana custard. Oh sure, maybe when a kid or two were born and possibly our wedding (I don’t honestly know about that personally because I was on the verge of passing out with terror the whole time, but I’ve seen photos), he may have looked happier. He described the experience as “bananatopia.” I think that says it all. Anyway, so far, our general practitioner hasn’t pulled me aside and insisted I deprive him of bananas.
Actual bananas custard
- 6 ripe bananas
- 4 cups milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground vanilla bean (or vanilla paste or extract)
- 3 eggs
- Peel 6 ripe bananas and liquefy in a mixer or food processor.
- Add in 2 cups of milk and combine.
- Strain resulting mixture through a medium or fine strainer into a pitcher or large bowl.
- Discard remaining banana pulp in strainer.
- Return banana and milk mixture to mixer or processor.
- Add in 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons vanilla and thoroughly combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 3 whole eggs and set aside.
- Place banana mixture into a medium or large saucepan.
- Constantly, or at least frequently, stir over medium heat (6.5 on my electric, ceramic top stove) until mixture reaches at least 170′, or boils. Use a cooking thermometer to check temperature.
- Reduce heat to low.
- Spoon about a cup of the hot banana mixture into the bowl of eggs and combine. Now pour the egg and milk mixture into the saucepan. Tempering the eggs with the heated banana and milk mixture keeps the eggs from instantly cooking into appalling egg blobs or streaks when they hit the hot custard. Adding eggs now, rather than at step #6, probably prevents the eggs going grainy or lumpy, but you could live carelessly.
- Cook over low heat, stirring often, possibly constantly, for about 5 minutes or until the custard begins to thicken. Do not cook above 180′. Over 185′ the custard may curdle.
- Pour into individual serving cups or large bowl.
- Serve warm or chilled.
Notes: This recipe was adapted from a number of sources; however, the two most influential recipes were “Jen’s Favorite Cookies” Banana Pudding recipe and “Epicurious'” Creme Anglais recipe. “Crafty Baking’s” Custard Problems and Solutions was invaluable for determining that, no, I really did not want to mix cornstarch and eggs in a banana custard. You could use 5 or 6 egg yolks instead of the 3 whole eggs. I didn’t because a) I wanted a more jelly-like custard, b) I am incredibly lazy, c) I am shockingly
cheap tight thrifty economical, and d) if I tried to store egg whites in my fridge there is a 100% likelihood that they would spill everywhere even if I put them in a hermetically sealed jar, inside a locked pirate trunk, and I swallowed the key.