Light and Silky Banana Crémeux Recipe (2024)

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No need for gelatin in this whipped banana custard that's thickened with cornstarch and lightened by cream.

By

Stella Parks

Light and Silky Banana Crémeux Recipe (1)

Stella Parks

Editor Emeritus

Stella Parks is a CIA-trained baking nerd and pastry wizard, dubbed one of America's Best New Pastry Chefs by Food & Wine. She was the pastry editor at Serious Eats from 2016 to 2019.

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Updated March 19, 2020

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Light and Silky Banana Crémeux Recipe (2)

Why It Works

  • A long, slow steep infuses milk with maximum banana flavor without use of a purée, keeping the final texture silky smooth.
  • Holding the custard at a boil denatures a starch-dissolving enzyme found in egg yolks, so crémeux stays creamy and thick.
  • Cloves amplify the natural flavor of banana without adding an overtly spicy note of their own.
  • Stiffly whipped cream lightens the texture of the chilled custard, making a dessert that's lighter than pudding if not quite as airy as mousse.

Crémeux is fancy way for pastry chefs to describe any dessert that falls somewhere between mousse and pudding in terms of lightness: something a bit more dense and creamy than the former but nowhere near as heavy or thick as the latter. Whatever you call it, this whipped banana custard is just that—rich and creamy and thick, but soft and light as well, with an intense banana flavor developed through a long, slow infusion.

Turn Speckled Bananas Into Spectacular Banana Pudding

Recipe Details

Light and Silky Banana Crémeux Recipe

Prep5 mins

Cook35 mins

Active30 mins

Resting Time6 hrs

Total6 hrs 40 mins

Serves9 servings

Ingredients

  • 28 ounces milk,any percentage will do(about 3 1/2 cups; 790g)

  • 16 ounces peeled, ripe banana from about 5 medium bananas, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups; 455g)

  • 1 empty vanilla bean pod, left over from another project, optional

  • 7 ounces plain ortoasted sugar(about 1 cup; 195g)

  • 1 1/2 ounces cornstarch (a shy 1/3 cup; 35g)

  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight

  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.5g) ground cloves

  • 5 ounces egg yolk (from about 10 large eggs; 140g)

  • 1/4 ounce vanilla extract (1 1/2 teaspoons; 7g)

  • 12 ounces heavy cream (about 1 1/2 cups; 340g)

Directions

  1. Infuse the Milk: Combine milk, sliced banana, and empty vanilla bean pod (if using) in 3-quart stainless steel saucier and bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring from time to time with flexible spatula to prevent scorching along bottom. When dairy comes to a simmer, remove from heat, cover and let cool to room temperature, about 4 hours. Proceed to next step, or refrigerate up to 24 hours to extract stronger banana flavor. The exact timing will depend on both personal preference and convenience.

  2. Make the Custard: Return banana milk to simmer over medium heat, stirring as before; then strain through fine-mesh sieve into medium bowl. Press gently on banana pulp to release liquid, but don't allow pulp to pass through sieve. Pulp can be refrigerated to use in muffins, pancakes, or smoothies, but it will not benefit the custard. If using vanilla pod, scrape out flavorful milk inside each half with flexible spatula before discarding.

  3. Using the same 3-quart saucier as before (no need to wash), whisk sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cloves together until well combined, followed by egg yolks. Whisk in infused milk. Return to stovetop and warm over medium-low heat, whisking gently until custard is steaming hot, about 5 minutes.

  4. Increase heat to medium and continue cooking until the custard thickens, about 5 minutes more. When it begins to bubble, set timer and continue whisking for 90 seconds. This step is important to neutralize starch-dissolving protein found in egg yolks. Off-heat, stir in vanilla extract and season to taste with additional vanilla, salt, or cloves. If desired, strain custard through same sieve as before (again, no need to wash) to remove bits of chalazae that may remain or any accidentally curdled custard. Scrape into large glass or ceramic baking dish; then cover and refrigerate until firm and cold, at least 2 hours, although timing will vary. Alternatively, the prepared custard can be refrigerated up to one week.

  5. Finishing the Crémeux: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip cream to stiff peaks. Meanwhile, use flexible spatula to stir chilled custard until smooth and soft (this can be done right in the baking dish or in a separate bowl if you prefer). Add about 1/3 of the cream to banana custard; then fold and stir until smooth before folding in remaining whipped cream. Transfer to disposable piping bag fitted with a large star tip and divide between serving dishes. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until needed, up to 24 hours. Pair with toasted nuts, cocoa nibs, fresh fruit, unsweetened whipped cream, or whatever toppings you desire.

Special equipment

3-quart stainless steel saucier, Nonreactive sieve, Whisk, Flexible spatula, Disposable pastry bag, Large star piping tip

Notes

This cornstarch-thickened custard works well as the filling in traditional banana pudding, or it can be used as a light and creamy filling for cream puffs, doughnuts, and other filled desserts.

Make-Ahead and Storage

The prepared custard can be refrigerated up to one week, allowing the finished crémeux to be assembled in about 10 minutes.

This Recipe Appears In

  • Turn Speckled Bananas Into Spectacular Banana Pudding
  • Banana
  • Easter Desserts
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
384Calories
21g Fat
44g Carbs
7g Protein

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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 9
Amount per serving
Calories384
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g26%
Saturated Fat 12g60%
Cholesterol 223mg74%
Sodium 150mg7%
Total Carbohydrate 44g16%
Dietary Fiber 1g5%
Total Sugars 34g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 5mg24%
Calcium 164mg13%
Iron 1mg4%
Potassium 370mg8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Light and Silky Banana Crémeux Recipe (2024)

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