Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve Caramel Banana Dessert

I created this Banana Caramel Cream Pie with Ginger Walnut Crust and Caramel Toasted Walnut Whipped Cream Topping for a Chiquita Banana contest.

Everyone that tasted it thought the pie absolutely AMAZING!  No it did not win but that's OK.  I have a new winner dessert that I can make anytime 'cause it's so easy.  In fact I'm going to whip one up for tonight to bring to a New Year's Eve celebration in my neighborhood!

Anyway here it is in all it's winning glory......

1 cup chopped walnuts
1 ½ cups crumbled ginger snaps
1/3 cup butter
Pie Filling:
1 box Vanilla instant pudding/pie filling
1 cup Caramel/Dulche de Leche
1 ½ cups cold whole milk
4 bananas
½ cup chopped Walnuts
½ cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup powdered sugar

Pulse blend 1 cup chopped walnuts and 1 ½ cups ginger snaps until fine crumbs.
Melt butter in microwave for 20 seconds or until melted. Drizzle into walnut/crumb mixture and blend until thoroughly mixed; about 30 seconds.
Press crust mixture into bottom and sides of 8 inch pie plate.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Beat together vanilla pie filling, caramel and cold milk until smooth.
Slice bananas and line pie shell with ½ of the bananas, pour ½ of the filling over bananas, layer on remaining bananas and finish with pouring on remaining pie filling. Smooth with a spatula and refrigerate for 2 hours.
In small sauce pan over medium heat melt the sugar and continue on medium heat until lightly browned.  Do not stir, just slightly swirl pan.
Spread ½ cup walnuts on parchment paper and pour the melted sugar evenly over nuts.  Let cool. (Fill pan with water and return to burner; let sit on cooling burner to melt and any residual sugar for easy clean up)
When walnuts/sugar mixture is hardened and cool, break into chunks and place between two sheets of parchment paper.  Smash with rolling pin or back of frying pan.
In a chilled bowl begin beating cold whipping cream with electric mixer on medium.  When frothy add the vanilla and powdered sugar.  Whip on high until stiff peaks form.
Using a spatula, fold in ½ half of the nut mixture.  Spread whipped cream on top of cooled pie and sprinkle with remaining nut mixture.
Slice with a wet knife; serve and enjoy!

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