Manezinho Araújo – Banana Cream Pie
Watch out: if you are a banana in my house, and you start to turn a little mushy, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! Or you are going to end your days in a cake, bread or in a Manezinho Araújo.
(Manezinho Araújo – the sweet: almost a trifle, with caramelized bananas, pastry cream and toasted meringue)
I’ve always found the dessert’s name very curious. Everybody in my family makes it – mom, granny, my aunts, but nobody could tell me who the heck was Manezinho Araújo and what he had to do with cooking.
Well, i googled Manezinho. And found 18,900 explanations – oh, the modern times… In a nutshell, he was a Brazilian journalist and song writer, author of the hit “Dezessete e Setecentos”, in the voice of Luiz Gonzaga.
What about the dessert? They say Manezinho was very fond of bananas and invented it, but there’s no historical evidence to prove the theory.
Manezinho Araújo Pie (One 9 inch pie)
Pâte Brisée (adapted from here)
- 1 stick very cold butter, cut in little cubes
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp very cold water, plus more if necessary
First of all, cut the butter and place in the freezer while preparing the other ingredients.
In the bowl of a food processor, place the flour, salt and sugar. Pulse to combine. Add the butter. Pulse in short intervals, until it turns into a crumbly mixture, with pieces of butter the size of large peas. With the machine running, add the water in a steady stream, and pulse until the dough holds together. If it’s too crumbly you can’t press into a ball, add more water, one teaspoon at a time. Don’t pulse for more than 30 sec.
Turn the dough into a floured surface. Press the lose crumbles in the dough, place it in a piece of plastic wrap, form a disc and wrap it. Put in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick. Fit dough in a 9 inch pie plate, and trim the edges. Crimp as desired (look at this for inspiration!). Place pie plate in the freezer while preheating the oven 375 o F, 15 minutes.
Line chilled pie with parchment paper and dried beans, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove parchment and beans, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, until golden. Let cool to fill.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a saucepan, bring milk to boil. Meanwhile, beat the yolks and sugar until white and fluffy. Add cornstarch and mix well. Add half of the hot milk to the yolks, whisking to temper. Put the yolk mixture in the pan with the rest of the milk and cook over medium-low heat until it thickens, always whisking. Then, cook for 2 more minutes. Pour it into a glass bowl and cover with a piece of plastic touching the surface of the cream. Let cool completely.
- 4 very ripe bananas, sliced
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup water
Place the sugar in a medium pan and cook over high heat until caramelized. It should be light amber. Low the heat, add the butter and bananas. Don’t worry, it will look like a mess, but add the water little by little and revolve the pan, and it will come together. Cook for 5 minutes, or until you have a caramel syrup and lightly soft bananas. Let cool.
- 2 egg whites
- 1/3 cup sugar
In a double boiler, heat the whites and the sugar, whisking, until it turns 160 o F in a candy thermometer, or until it feels very hot and there’s no more sugar crystals. Beat on medium high speed in the electric mixer, until glossy, and forms hard peaks.
In the pie shell, pour the cream, the bananas, and cover with the meringue, swirling to coat in a decorative fashion. Bake in moderate oven until lightly golden and dry. Let cool before serve.