Deconstructed Banana Cream Pie

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Introduction: Deconstructed Banana Cream Pie

About: A self-proclaimed creative high schooler who's found her outlet in writing and sharing Instructables.

I've often read on the internet that such things like molecular gastronomy and deconstructed food items are "pretentious". I have to agree when it comes to things like nachos, spaghetti, and burgers (now that's just ridiculous). However, I feel it's definitely fun to play with your food sometimes, and thus this deconstructed banana cream pie encompassing all of the original charm and classic nostalgic flavor is born. Oh, and because I happened to have a lot of bananas ripening at alarming rates at home.

There are 2 molecular gastronomy techniques at play in this recipe, the first being powderizing fat using Tapioca Maltodextrin (also known as N-orbit Z) and "faux" cold oil spherification. I've also played around with the plating, but as you can tell, I am completely an amateur at plating :)

So let's get to it, here are the components of this recipe:

  • Rum butter poached banana
  • Tuille wafers
  • Rum caviar
  • Brown butter powder
  • Banana cream

Step 1: Tuille Cookie "Wafers"

This is going to be the crust component in the final dessert.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup flour (all purpose)

3 egg whites

1 cup sugar

pinch of salt

Method:

1. In a bowl add the egg whites, sugar, and salt. Whisk until incorporated, 1 minute or so.

2. Add the butter, and flour a little at a time while whisking until there are no lumps.

3. Cover with cling wrap and chill for 1-2 hours

4. Spread a dollop thinly across a Silpat, thin enough so that it is slightly transparent.

5. Bake at 350 for about 2-3 minutes, watching carefully, until golden brown.

Note: the batter may start bubbling, this is normal

6. Let the tuille sheet cool, then break into smaller pieces

Step 2: Brown Butter Powder

Tapioca Maltodextrin is a substance that absorbs fat and turns it into powder. I first learned about it right here on Instructables: Powdered Nutella by TheCoffeeDude

Why do we want to do this?

The maltodextrin will absorb all of the flavors of the brown butter, but make it a dry and powdered form. This makes it easy to sprinkle and eat, as well as adding some variation of texture to the final dessert.

It doesn't matter how much fat you are using, just make sure that the maltodextrin to fat ratio is 60/40

I browned some butter over medium heat and approximated 60% of the maltodextrin. I poured the butter into the maltodextrin in a food processor, occasionally stirring with a spatula to keep the powder loose.

This powder can be stored indefinitely in a cool and dry place.

Step 3: Rum Caviar

There are 3 methods of spherification that I am familiar with and have tried; Direct spherification (sodium alginate liquid in a calcium salt bath), Reverse spherification (calcium salt liquid in a sodium alginate bath), and Cold oil "faux" spherification.

I chose to use the cold oil spherification because it is the most accessible for most people, you don't have to order sodium alginate and calcium lactate online, and agar agar (a seaweed gelatin substitute) is easily found in most Asian groceries.

Cold oil spherification involves using a flavorful liquid cooked down with agar agar dropped into a tall glass of cold oil. It needs to be a tall glass so that the caviar has time to form by the time it hits the bottom of the glass. The only thing about cold oil spherification is that the "caviar" is more like droplets of jelly than a popping sac of liquid that you get from the other 2 methods.

Note: Gelatin cannot be substituted

Ingredients:

3/4 cup dark rum

2g agar-agar (powder or sheet form)

1/4 cup brown sugar

about 8 oz vegetable oil (or enough to fill a tall glass)

Method

1. chill your oil in the freezer for about 1/2 an hour

2. Add your rum, agar agar, and brown sugar to a saucepan and bring to a boil

3. Remove from heat and let cool about a minute

4. Take a pipet, medicine dropper, or syringe and squeeze drops of the rum mixture into the cold oil, being careful not to make too many in one place

5. Fish out your caviar with a slotted spoon and rinse off the oil

This will keep in the fridge overnight at least, but I'm not sure how much longer than that.

Step 4: Banana Cream

This is simply banana puree folded into a stiff whipped cream. Simple but tasty.

To be honest, I eyeballed everything here so I can't give scientific measurements but I think it was something like:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 banana

1/4 cup milk (but more like a splash)

Method:

1. Whip your heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks, about 7 minutes

2. in a blender or magic bullet (you can also just mash this by hand), blend 1 ripe banana with a splash of milk until it is a smooth puree

3. Fold the puree into the whipped cream a portion at a time, slowly

4. Refrigerate until needed

Step 5: Poached Banana

I decided to cut my banana into a rectangular geometric shape for plating later on, but you can just peel it if you like.

I poached 1 banana, so my recipe amounts were small

Ingredients:

However many bananas you want to poach, peeled

Equal amounts butter and rum (I used 1/4 cup)

A pinch of cinnamon

A couple tbsp of sugar, to taste

Method:

1. Place the butter, rum, cinnamon, and sugar in a saucepan

2. Simmer for about 5 minutes

3. Slice the peeled bananas in half lengthwise and carefully place cut side down, in the poaching liquid.

4. Poach for 3-4 minutes, then remove the bananas from the pot

Notes:

When poaching, usually it'll be longer than 3-4 minutes, however, I wanted to only lightly poach, to retain the texture of the banana but infuse the flavor or the liquid.

Step 6: Plating

So now you have all of your components in front of you:

Poached banana

Tuille wafers

Banana cream

Brown butter powder

Rum caviar

Here's how I plated mine:

First plate:

Spoon a dollop of the cream on the plate, and using your spoon, make an indentation in the dollop, then pull the spoon across the plate

Place the poached banana across the plate, on top of the dollop

scoop some rum caviar and place it on the cream

Sprinkle some brown butter powder over the cream

Place a wafer on the banana

Second plate:

Spoon some powder in the center of the plate

place the banana on top

pipe some cream on top of the banana

place wafers on the cream (odd numbers look better)

Place small scoops of rum caviar in various places around the plate

Congrats, you're done, and you've made a beautifully plated dessert!

Step 7:

Science of Cooking

Second Prize in the
Science of Cooking

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    12 Comments

    Haha, thanks! btw I checked out the music in your bio, very cool :)

    Awww that makes me so happy! Thank you so much!

    Thanks, it was!

    Beautifully done! I love to cook and have done so since I took a cooking class when I was 6 (about 72 years ago) but I am more of an old-school (and heavy-handed!) kitchen invader. I am in awe of skills such as you portray.

    1 reply

    Thank you very much sir! I'd love to touch up my skills in traditional/ old school fundamentals. It's so cool to hear that you've been cooking for so long :)

    Awesome.. beautifully plated :)

    1 reply

    Thank you ;)

    Your plating is beautiful and I love the summery colors! Such finesse!

    2 replies

    Thanks, that means a lot coming from you! I loved your chocolate egg instructable and have actually favorited several of your other Instructables, your pictures are always so pretty. Good luck in the contest :)

    You're welcome! All the best to you too. You have so much potential for a high schooler!