Here’s a recipe fit for royalty, though it hails from a reclusive jazz muso that lived out the final years of his life up on Overlook Mountain near the Buddhist monastery outside Woodstock, New York.
My introduction to this rather miraculous dessert happened by accident one evening when my partner and I were forced off the road by a blizzard, our car dead in its tracks, several miles away from our destination. Lester (as I’ll call him) saw our plight and came down to tell us we could shelter by his wood fire. We ended up spending the night there where we were grandly regaled with stories of all the jazz greats Lester had played with, accompanied by Lester’s Black Bottom Banana Cream dream, which he confessed he’d lifted from a black, club singer he’d once lived with out on the coast. Like Lester, she’d ended up in the Catskills – the Jewish Alps, she called them – and as fate would have had taken just about everything she owned – apart from this recipe – to her grave. Lester called it his inheritance, despite the fact that he had eschewed sugar. As he told it, after Pearl had passed, he became something of a health freak, did all his shopping at Sunflower in Woodstock, and refused to use any non-organic ingredients, which he claimed was the secret of his version of Pearl’s legendary dessert.
Blizzard or no blizzard, I heartily recommend it, chased with a fine Cloudy Bay or an expensive Champagne, and don’t forget some mellow Eartha Kitt.
- 2 tablespoons organic butter
- 4 squares best organic semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 pie crust (see recipe)
- 6 organic Lady’s Fingers bananas, sliced
- 1 package vanilla instant custard / pudding
- 2 cups cold organic milk
- whipped topping for garnish
- In small saucepan over low heat melt butter and chocolate stirring until smooth.
- Spread evenly over bottom of crust then arrange banana slices over chocolate and set aside.
- Prepare pudding according to package directions for pie using milk then pour over bananas.
- Chill at least 1 hour then garnish with whipped topping.
PIE CRUST RECIPE
An easy pie crust recipe, this sweet pie crust is especially good as a base for banana cream pie.
When used for frozen fillings, the crust can be used without baking. When used for other fillings, bake the crust slightly to set the crumbs. Cool the crust completely before filling.
- 34 vanilla wafers (1-1/2 cups crumbs)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, melted
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place vanilla wafers in a plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin until finely crushed. The wafers can also be crushed in a food processor.
3. In a small bowl or directly in the pie plate, combine crumbs, butter and sugar and mix well.
4. Using the back of a spoon, firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate.
5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before filling.