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Mini Cream Pies

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I’ve had mini cream pies on my mind for about a week now, the “Just Desserts” party was the excuse.  For days I thought about how I would compose the banana cream pie, layering all of the components for a single bite of sweet-awesomeness.  I needed a spectacularly brûlée’d  banana slice to rest on a creamy pillow, with salted caramel and chocolate in there somewhere.  The coconut pie would have the same basic ingredients, but be unquestionably “coconut-y”.

As much as I had intended to make the pie dough, the salted caramel sauce and the pastry cream the day before, I didn’t… so these took me all day to make.  I made a few more on Saturday, and let me tell you how delightful it was to just “assemble” these little cuties!

No one says you have to slave away making all this by hand, buy it all pre-made if you want!

This isn’t so much a recipe, as an assembly guide for these mini cream pies.
Here is what you will need:


Chocolate Tart Sheels

One single batch of pie-dough should make about 24 mini tart shells, filling a whole mini-muffin pan.  I rolled the dough to slightly less than 1/4 inch and used a 2 inch cutter.  I have more specific direction on the post Mini Lemon Meringue Tarts.  After cooled, brush with the melted chocolate to thinly coat the shell.  This keeps the shell crispy when the pastry cream is added.

Chocolate Cups

 Set aside while the chocolate cools and hardens.

Mini Tart Assembly

Gather all of the components to assemble the pies.  This is the fun part!  I have a bowl of pastry cream, a ramekin with coconut pastry cream (coconut added to the cream, let it sit a few hours to soften and meld), toasted coconut flakes, salted caramel sauce, a pastry bag of whipped cream and the brûlée’d bananas.

Now, about the bananas… the first time I did the bananas, I cut them into 1/2 slices.  This was a gorgeous presentation, but I over-filled with the pastry cream.  The second time I sliced them thinner (1/4 inch) and had room to add some whipped cream.  I coated the slices with some organic sugar and torched them.  I tried using the broiler, but they ended up melting a little because they were so thin (the bananas on the left side of the tinfoil).

Pastry Cream

 Just about a teaspoon of pastry cream is all you need.

Caramel on Tarts

 Drizzle with salted caramel sauce.

Mini Tarts 2

 Top with a little swirl of whipped cream and either a banana slice or toasted coconut flakes.

Banana Tarts

 Here is the version with the bigger banana and no whipped cream.  I took these to the “Just Desserts” party and they were devoured.  The banana rocked this one!

Honestly, yes, this dessert was a lot of work, but so much fun!  Next time I’ll spread it out over a few days, which will be much more enjoyable.  Feel free to buy a frozen pie dough, vanilla pudding and everything else pre-made… just have fun with it!  Let me know what you come up with.
I’m considering whipping up some more tart shells just so I can keep playing with combinations!



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