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Double Banana Caramel Cream Pie

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Double Banana Caramel Cream Pie
My love of baking was undoubtedly a gift from my mother among very many others that have sustained me, not only throughout my lifetime, but also throughout my business career.

This Double Banana Caramel Cream Pie would have pleased her immensely.  My mother was a fantastic cook and baker.  To support us while my father returned to college for his second degree, we had 16 people for dinner at our house every night during the week and two teachers lived with us.  Mother cooked all of those meals without help and on Sunday she pulled out all the stops for her family.  She was an amazing woman!

My favorite desserts were anything with custard, pudding or pastry cream as a component.  Mother was an interesting combination of scratch cooking (I ate croissants at every important occasion, including holidays, before anyone in the states ever heard of them) and little shortcuts she learned along the way.  One of her shortcuts was combining Jello vanilla pudding mix which she made reducing the amount of milk slightly and combining it with whipped cream.  This was one of my favorites.  She would use it in cream puffs, banana cream pie and all manner of desserts calling for pastry cream.  I loved every one of them. Continue reading

Fruit Basket Banana Cake

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Fruit Basket Banana CakeBananas, strawberries and pineapple team up to make the Fruit Basket Banana Cake. It  is the perfect cake if you are looking for something light but with lots of flavor and it is a great summertime dessert.

The banana cake is one I worked on for a while.  Most banana cakes are heavy and I wanted one that was lighter but still had plenty of banana flavor.  It is unusual in that it uses both oil and butter.  Other than that, it is a straight forward, easy to make banana cake. The cake also makes great cupcakes with a browned butter buttercream.

The pastry cream is lightened with a bit of whipped cream.  Crushed pineapple is folded in and after it is spread between the layers, strawberries cover the cream.  The Fruit Basket Banana Cake is finished in whipped cream with a piped lattice design on top. Continue reading