Do you ever decide on a recipe based on what you have hanging out in the cupboards or fridge?
I do this more and more these days. It’s all part of my current focus on using up what I have on hand rather than buying a whole new set of ingredients for a recipe.
That’s exactly how I came up with this Banana Cotta Crumble. Never heard of it before? I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t. In all truth, this was intended to be a Banana Cream Pie. However, I got a little carried away at one point and strayed from the recipe(s) that I was following. I ended up with a whole new dessert!
And yes, if I do say so myself, it was delicious.
We were invited out to dinner at a friend’s house. I offered to bring dessert. That was over a month ago. A few days before, I thought I’d start thinking about the perfect dessert to bring.
In my cupboard, I had a lonely tin of Dulce de Leche Condensed Milk and some vanilla pudding. To be honest, I try to make everything from scratch, so having both of these prepared ingredients was kind of bothering me. I also found some graham cracker crumbs.
I searched for a recipe that would use the condensed milk and settled on a banana cream pie. I thought the caramel was the perfect pair for the bananas. Of course, I’d never made such a pie before. In fact, my pie making has been limited to lemon meringue pies only! Oh well, what could go wrong?
I am a big fan of following recipes. I’m just not that good at throwing things together without guidance. In this case, I decided to take the best of two recipes and combine them. For me, I was WAY out on a limb when I decided to take this course.
I found the first recipe on All Recipes.com. You can find the recipe here. It looked pretty straightforward. The filling was straight condensed milk and bananas.
I found the second one on Our Best Bites here. In this recipe, the filling was a combination of condensed milk and vanilla pudding mix. Bingo! Just what I was looking for in order to use up some of my extra baking supplies.
I started with the crust, using the directions from the All Recipes recipe. I mixed the graham cracker crumbs with the butter and baked, as directed. The only change I made to the crust was to add a dash of salt. I’m a big fan of anything that is sweet and salty.
For the filling, I followed the recipe from Our Best Bites. It was a simple mix of the condensed milk, pudding mix and water. Unfortunately, this is the point when I got kind of distracted and I ended up adding too much water. Whoops! The mix was yummy, but a tad runny.
After chilling it for a bit, I added some whipped cream, as per the recipe. The chilling and the whipped cream both went a long way toward thickening up the filling.
The final step was to assemble the pie. I sliced up three bananas and layered them on the baked crust.
Next, I spooned the filling on top of the bananas. Pretty, isn’t it?
Finally, I whipped up the rest of the whipped cream with some icing sugar and spread that on top of the caramel filling.
Keep Calm and Banana On
The dessert was made, but I was sure that it would not hold its shape once it was cut, no matter how long I chilled it. I wasn’t sure what to do. Should I take the dessert to the dinner party and risk embarrassment? Should I try and whip up something else for dessert? Should I run to the store and buy something? I was almost out of time…
Not knowing what to do, I did what any self-respecting woman would do – I called my best friend. She also loves to bake and cook and quickly understood the dilemma I was in.
(* Image courtesy of Google Images)
She wisely advised me to calm down. She pointed out that there was nothing wrong with any part of the dessert. The only issue was the presentation of the dessert. Therefore, the logical conclusion was to simply rename the dessert and then serve it with confidence, in bowls. Isn’t she smart?
We brainstormed a few names. There was the Banana Cream Pudding, Banana Panna Cotta, and Banana Crumble. They all sounded great and we settled on Banana Cotta Crumble. It sounded good, it was easy to say and if nothing else, it would get some attention. Though there was never any hint of a Panna Cotta recipe in this adventure, I thought we just should just run with it. I tried out the new name on my husband as soon as he came home and he was sold. I knew if I could convince him, I could certainly convince our hosts!
Banana Cotta Crumble
It was served that night at the dinner party and it was lovely. The salted crust mixed well with the sweet caramel pudding. The banana slices provided great texture and flavour. And what dessert isn’t made better when it’s topped with sweetened whipped cream?
It’s always great when a plan comes together. It’s even better when you’re saved from dessert disaster!