I love to make dessert, and I really love to make if for people who die over it. Despite this fact, for years I wouldn’t have said I personally crave sweets, except for buttery shortbread cookies. I can eat them like chips. I’m not kidding.
But then Baby Ev was on her way and things changed. I was making desserts for every gathering, and I started wanting them. Daily. I didn’t know, people. There’s sooooo much to love. (Except for all the good reasons not to–just ask Ella!) While I didn’t actually succumb to this daily, I still wanted it. Anything with sweetened whipped cream: berries, peaches, peanut butter please.
Never say never, a lesson that keeps showing up in my life, I now crave desserts more often than Dorritos. This should however give me hope for things I don’t currently crave, like running. I can hope.
Reasons to make this a favorite? Taste, ease, and happy faces. I’ve made this recipe a bunch of times because it’s delicious. After last week, I realized it’s also one of the easiest recipes on the planet. And because it was just that kind of night and the table of company looked up for it, I spontaneously made it a group project for two adorable birthday girls.
Step one: Early in the day, make the custard (see below) in a 9×9 inch glass dish and bake until it is set.
Step two: When it’s time for dessert, gather up all your spoons.
Step three: Make spoonfuls of brûlée (ahead of time or at the table), top with banana slice if you like, sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Step four: Broil or torch the sugar until it is lightly browned, or to your liking.
While we don’t serve dessert in our house on a nightly or even weekly basis, I have to pull this out for a little after dinner treat sometime in the next few weeks. The fam will love it, and groan, and roll their eyes in a good way. I can always take more of that.
banana brûlée spoons
adapted from Gale Gands’ Just a Bite
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup half-and-half
1/4 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup coarse or raw sugar
Preheat the oven to 300°
Heat the cream, half-and-half, and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan over medium heat just to boil. Remove the pan from heat and let the vanilla infuse the cream for 10 minutes.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until combined. While constantly whisking, gradually pour in the hot cream mixture, including the vanilla bean. Strain the mixture into 9 inch glass baking dish, to remove the vanilla bean and any lumps.
Set the glass baking dish inside a larger baking with a hot-water bath. (Fill the outer dish with the hottest tap water or boiling water up 1/3 the side of the glass dish.) Bake until the custard is just set, 40-50 minutes. Remove from the water bath and let cool for 15 minutes. Tightly cover the custard with plastic wrap, making sure it touches the surface. Refrigerate to chill for as long as 3 days.
Ahead of time (up to 4 hours) or at the time of dessert, fill spoons with chilled brûlée. Right before serving, top with a thin slice of banana, press it down lightly and sprinkle with coarse sugar. With spoons on a baking sheet, broil or torch the spoons until the sugar is melted and browned, about 1 minute. Let them cool for another minute before serving.