Over Thanksgiving I made Ann Thornton's Salted Caramel Banana Pudding Pie and I wanted to give a full report in case anyone is interested in making it, which I definitely think you should. It was delicious--really, really good--but I have a few notes that you should consider if you make it.
-First of all, the crust is made from 45 finely crushed vanilla wafers, but the recipe says to set aside 1/2 cup of these for garnish. If I had done that, I'm sure I wouldn't have had enough for the crust, so I used all 45 and crushed some more for the top. In fact, I think it could have used a little bit more than 45 because it was a stretch to press the mixture up the sides. Next time I'll increase the crust ingredients by about 10 wafers and maybe 1-2 tablespoons of butter, because I like a nice, thick crust.
-The caramel sauce. Delicious. But I noticed in the comments on her recipe that people were having trouble with it solidifying. She does say in the recipe that it will solidify when the cream is added. This is what mine looked like right after I added the cream:
It solidified, just like the recipe said. I almost abandoned it, but I stirred and stirred...
...and everything was okay again. Yes, you'll have some left over after you've coated the bananas, but is that a bad thing? Not at my house. FYI-my daughter said my pie needed a little more caramel sauce, so next time I'll increase.
-I really loved the vanilla pudding recipe because it was so easy. I did it all in one saucepan and bypassed the first part which says to combine the sugar and flour in a bowl. I combined them in the saucepan. And no egg tempering. Easy!
-We really, really loved this pie frozen. The bananas freeze and get a little icy and it's just delicious. Let it sit out of the freezer for a few minutes before cutting, because you don't want it rock hard.
-I didn't use the almond extract in the whipped cream because there's something about almond extract that I don't like most of the time. I love almonds, though. I substituted with vanilla extract.
-This pie definitely needs to refrigerate at least overnight. I don't think she notes that in the recipe.
-I used a 9-inch foil pie plate and it was full. Very full. If you use a glass or ceramic pie plate which I think are probably a little deeper, that may work better. Mine still worked, but it was on the edge of overflowing.
This pie was a huge hit. Big. I'll be making it again. I've got my eye on this recipe now.