banana cream pie

i am so not gonna win a prize for this picture, but it shouldnt keep you away from baking this wonderful sweet tart. a banana cream pie is such a delicious little thing - oh! - we couldnt get enough and even had a slice (ok, it was 2 slices each...) the day after for breakfast. of course a proper baker would make a homemade pastry but i was lazy for once and used a ready made shortcrust pastry.
maybe you know the icecream dessert "banana-split" where a banana is served with vanilla ice cream, some melted black chocolate and loads and loads of whipped cream. when i was a kid, i promised myself that - once i am an adult - i would eat banana split every single day. i wasnt exactly on a banana-split diet in the last few years, but must admit, i think it cant get any better than that. and this banana cream pie even includes a vanilla pastry cream. i mean - how can you top this?

1 rolled out shortcrust pastry
about 20-30g black chocolate

PASTRY CREAM
500ml whole milk
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
a generous pinch of salt
4 tablespoons of cornstarch
110g sugar
2 large eggs
40g butter, cut in small cubes

TOPPING
2 ripe bananas, cut in rounds
150ml heavy cream
2-3 tablespoons sugar

some (grated) chocolate swirls

line a round tart-tin with the shortcrust pastry, line with baking paper and fill with baking beans. bake for about 20 minutes at 180c°. when the pastry starts to brown, remove baking beans and bake for another 10 minutes until golden and crisp. let cool completely.
once its cold, brush the bottom of the baked tart shell with some melted black chocolate and put in the fridge for 15-20 minutes until firm.

fo
r the pastry cream pour milk, vanilla seeds and salt in a pan and put over medium heat. bring just to the boil - but make sure the milk doesnt stick to the bottom of the pan (this will add a horrible burn-taste to this wonderful cream!).
mix the sugar, cornstarch and eggs in a mixing bowl until smooth. slowly add about 1/3 of the milk mixture into the sugar/egg-mixture and whisk constantly. then pour this mixture back into the pan and - while constantly whisking - heat up again. in a dash this will thicken beautifully - whisk until you reach a wonderful thick-creamy vanilla-cream. remove from heat immediately and pour into a bowl (if you want to be an overachiever, you can pour the cream through a thin sieve into the bowl. it adds a more silky and softer consistency, but this is really only when you want (or have) to show off!). stir with a rubber spatula from time to time to release the heat. then add the butter cubes - one after the other, always whisking until smooth before you add the next one.
cool cream and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it onto the surface of the cream to prevent forming a skin on the surface. keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days.

spread the vanilla cream evenly into the tart shell & arrange with the banana rounds. whip the heavy cream with the sugar until it forms soft but firm peaks and spread generously on top. decorate pie with chocolate swirls.
serve immediately. in case you got any leftovers (not really, ey?) - this tart keeps in the fridge for up to 2 days.