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We have just ended a wonderful week with my cousin and his wife who were visiting us from California. We were in a constant whirlwind — sightseeing and eating out.
On Sunday, we stopped at a restaurant called Banana Boat. It looked like a really nice place to try, judging by the number of cars outside the restaurant. It turned out to be a very good stop for us. Jim asked his favorite question, “What you got for dessert,” after completing an already very good meal. The waitress offered, “We have Coconut Banana Cream Pie.” Immediately Jim responded with, “Oh don’t tell me that because I can’t turn that down.” She came back with the most luscious, awesome dessert I have ever seen, and four forks. Honestly, we thought we’d all died and gone to heaven when we took that first bite. Afterward, I questioned the waitress as to the ingredients that I thought were in it, which was a pretty good guess for me.
I have now made my version of that delicious dessert, and it’s turned out to be pretty close to the restaurant version. It will be a great dessert for Easter. I give you:
Macaroon Cookie Crust
2 large egg whites
¼ tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ¾ cups shredded sweetened coconut
¾ cup butterscotch chips
3-4 sliced bananas
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line two 8-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and set aside.
Whisk egg whites and salt in a medium mixing bowl until foamy. Gradually whisk in the sugar and continue whisking until the mixture is shiny and thick. Whisk in the vanilla. Fold in the coconut and butterscotch chips.
Evenly divide macaroon mixture between the two pans; press down until evenly dispersed. Bake for 20-30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the crusts are golden brown on the bottom. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. When completely cool, remove from pan and peel off parchment paper. Place one crust on a plate. Set aside.
3 large egg yolks
9 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. cornstarch
3/8 tsp. fine sea salt
3 cups whole milk
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 12 chunks
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
1 banana, mashed
In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks with ¼ cup of milk until well combined. Reserve.
In a 3-quart saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt, and then slowly whisk in the cold milk, a little at a time to ensure no lumps form. Scrape the bottom and sides of the saucepan with a heatproof spatula. Stir in banana.
Over medium heat, stirring constantly, bring to a bare simmer.
Ladle 1/2 cup of the hot pudding into the egg yolks and whisk rapidly. Now add the egg yolk mixture back to the saucepan. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue stirring the pudding until it thickens to the point that it coats the back of the spatula, from 2-4 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla until butter is melted.
Immediately pour the pudding into a medium mixing bowl. Quickly press a small piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
Let cool, and then refrigerate until chilled, at least two hours.
Evenly place sliced bananas on top of crust that is on plate; top with half of pudding. Top with second crust and repeat layers of bananas and pudding. Refrigerate.Serve topped with whipped cream.
Lonnie Sundermeyer is a retired professional caterer residing in Ghent, Ky.