Thursday, November 10, 2011

Banana Creme Brulee

I eat a banana every day for breakfast.  So, I always have lots of bananas in the house.  For me, they have to be the perfect ripeness. Can't be too green (although I sometimes like them a little green) and they certainly cannot be getting too many brown spots.  But really ripe bananas are the best for baking.  They have a more developed flavor.

Ever wonder what to do with this super ripe bananas that no one wants to eat anymore?  How about trying Banana Cream Brulee, or simply Banana Custard if you do not like the crunchy sugar on top.

10 oz light cream
2 oz milk
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
4 yolks

1. Combine cream, milk and 1/4 cup sugar in pot.  Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the inside and add to pot.  Mash the bananas and add to the pot.
2.Heat the mixture, but do not boil.  Whisk the mixture so it does not burn.  Turn the heat off once it starts to steam.
3. In small bowl, whisk yolks and 1/4 cup sugar. 
4. Temper the cream into the egg mixture.  Using a small ladle or measuring cup, slowly pour some of the cream mixture into the bowl with the eggs.  Whisk the mixture together as you combine them.  Gradually add more cream.  Pour the egg mixture into the pot. (This will help the eggs to incorporate nicely without turning into scrambled eggs!)
5.  Whisk the mixture and heat until it thickens a bit, just a couple minutes on low to medium heat.  Caution: do not overheat at this step!  It is best to pull it off the stove before it thickens than to let it cook too much (you will end up with a lumpy consistency).  
6. Run the mixture through a mess strainer into a clean bowl. 
7. Heat over to 350 degrees.
8. Place ramekins in a baking dish.  Pour mixture into ramekins.
9. Fill the baking dish with hot water, about half way up the ramekins.  This is a water bath.  It will help to creme brulee to cook slowly and not burn.
10. Bake for 30-40 minutes.  When you tap the side of the ramekin, the top should be set.  It is ok if it is still a little jiggly in the center.  It will be ok once it cools.
11. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.  If you do not want to make creme brulee, enjoy at this point!
12.  Sprinkle a layer of sugar on top.  Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar until it turns golden brown.  If you do not have a kitchen torch, you can it them under the broiler for a few minutes.  Make sure you watch them though, as they can burn very quickly.  I personally do not like putting things in the broiler, but if you like to, then go for it!  

Do not throw out the vanilla bean once you are done with it.  I will show you what to do with it in my first Edible Christmas gift post!  Stay tuned... its coming very soon!  

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