Praise be to the pop star food! Hail to the icons people line up at dawn for, the ones who sell out in 15 minutes. Dominique Ansel reset the bar set by Krispy Kreme when he introduced the cronut out of his Soho bakery in 2013.
In the years since, the cruffin, cereal milk soft serve and unbaked cookie dough have capably carried on the tradition of gastronomic obsession. In a world where everything seems bleak and sad, there's something touching about the human desire for an over-the-top treat.
The newest inductee into the viral dessert hall of fame is Crumbl, with a cookie to desire like it's a new season of "Succession." The TikTok famous sensation hasn't yet arrived in my town, so until I can get my hands on the real thing, I'll settle for a homemade version. Perusing the Crumbl menu this week, I was intrigued by the banana cream pie cookie. The thought of "creamy, smooth banana pudding stuffed into a buttery pie crust and topped with a vanilla wafer" really called to me.
Because I haven't tasted the real thing, I can't vouch for my version's authenticity. I can, however, testify that my banana cream pie-ambivalent family gorged on it like it was kale in 2014. I've cobbled mine together from Pillsbury's dead easy little pudding pies and Magnolia Bakery's own legendary banana pudding, cutting a few corners along the way for ease. You can knock these out in a lot less time than it would take to wait in line for them — and you'll feel like an absolute rock star for your achievement.
- 2 pre-made pie crusts, homemade or store bought and thawed
- 32 mini Nilla wafers (You can substitute graham crackers, shortbread or your favorite other cookies here.)
- 2 ripe bananas, each cut into 16 slices
- 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 cups cold water
- 1 3.4-ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
- 3 cups heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Invert and lightly oil a pair of 12-cup muffin pans.
- Roll out the pie crusts, and with a 3-inch round cookie cutter or inverted glass, stamp out 16 rounds.
- Drape the rounds over the muffin forms, with 8 on each pan. Pinch the dough to make sure each cup makes a neat shape.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove the crusts from the oven. Let them cool for at least 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack or plate.
While the crusts are baking, add the water and condensed milk to a large bowl and whip for a minute or so.
Add the pudding mix and continue to beat another 2 minutes, until well combined.
Add the heavy cream and beat about 5 minutes. The mixture should be thickened and fluffy.
Spoon the pudding into the pie crusts. Top each with 2 slices of banana and 2 Nilla wafers. These are best chilled at least 30 minutes, but they're totally fine to eat immediately.
You'll wind up here with more pudding than pies, a situation known as "a luxury problem." You can repurpose the leftover pudding by serving it with berries and whipped cream or using it as a luxurious filling for a Boston cream pie. That's what I'd do.
And, if you want the gist of this experience without making all that pudding, by all means just use the stuff that comes in a container. It's still great.
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