Emeril Lagasse has done it all. He has done several television shows, cooked in front of live audiences, written books, and even sold his cookware. Out of all of the great dishes that he's shared, there is one that everyone clamors for which will be shared below.
His Rise to Fame:
According to Wikipedia, Lagasse graduated from culinary school in 1978. His big break came when he was chosen in 1982 to succeed legendary chef Paul Prudhomme as executive chef of Commander's Palace in New Orleans under Richard Brennan Sr. He led the kitchen there for seven and a half years before leaving to open his restaurant. The rest they say is history.
Paying it Forward:
The one thing that Lagasse doesn’t get enough credit for is his giving spirit. Emeril has often talked about the importance of “paying it forward” and he has been a great example to others. He started the Emeril Lagasse Foundation with his wife Alden in 2002. According to the website, its motto is Inspire, Mentor, Enable.
They state that their mission is to seek to inspire, mentor and enable youth to reach their full potential through culinary, nutrition, and arts education. The website goes on to say that they have given over 18.5 million dollars to children’s charities to support these programs.
His One Dish People go Crazy Over:
In an interview that Emeril did in 2014 with First We Feast, he first talked about the 10 dishes that made his career. When it came to dessert, he finally admitted there's one dish that stands out. That dish is Banana Cream Pie with Caramel and Chocolate Shavings.
“If there’s one dessert—maybe even one dish—that people go crazy about, it’s this one,” Lagasse said. “There’s something about the old-fashioned pastry cream layered with bananas, caramel, and finely shaved chocolate.”
Emeril shares this amazing recipe on his website along with a YouTube video of him preparing it. It’s decadent and delicious. Inspired by Banana Cream Pies that he ate as a kid, Emeril said he wanted to “kick it up a notch” and boy did he. BAM!
Banana Cream Pie with Caramel and Chocolate Shavings
- PREP TIME: 1 hour
- TOTAL TIME: 8 hours
- YIELD: Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 10
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- Graham Cracker Crust
- 3 pounds (about 9) firm but ripe bananas, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Caramel Sauce
- Chocolate Sauce
- Shaved chocolate, for garnish
- Confectioners' sugar, for garnish
- Fresh mint, for garnish
- Combine 2 cups cream, the milk, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla bean and seeds in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, whisking to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat.
- Combine egg yolks, eggs, cornstarch, and 1 cup sugar in a medium bowl; whisk until pale yellow. Set aside.
- Whisk 1 cup hot cream mixture into egg yolk mixture. Gradually add the egg mixture to the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a large wooden spoon to cook out the cornstarch and thicken the mixture, for about 5 minutes. (The mixture may separate slightly; if so, remove from heat and beat with an electric mixer until thick and smooth.) Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to prevent skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.
- To assemble, spread 1/2 cup custard over the bottom of the prepared crust, smoothing with the back of a large spoon or rubber spatula. Arrange enough banana slices (not quite one-third) in a tight, tiled pattern over the custard, pressing down with your hands to pack them firmly. Repeat to build a second layer, using 3/4 cup custard and enough bananas to cover, smoothing down the layer evenly. For the third layer, spread 3/4 cup of custard over bananas and top with remaining bananas, starting 1 inch from the outer edge and working toward the center. Spread 1 cup custard evenly over bananas to prevent discoloration. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- In a medium bowl, whip the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar and vanilla extract and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
- Remove the pie from the refrigerator. With a sharp knife dipped in hot water, cut the pie into 10 equal slices. Transfer slices to dessert plates. Fill a pastry bag with whipped cream and pipe onto each slice. (Alternately, spread the whipped cream evenly over the pie before cutting.)
- Drizzle each slice with caramel and chocolate sauces, sprinkle with chocolate shavings and confectioners' sugar, garnish with fresh mint, and serve.
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