Though summer is over, I still have banana puree in my freezer that I'm trying to see my way through. I decided to try and use it in a low-fat custard preparation and this worked out particularly well. It has a very strong banana flavor though, so it's not for those who are less than ardent fans of this particular fruit. It's also on the sweet side so you may want to reduce or eliminate the Splenda if you don't like sweet custards.
I've made custards on the stove top many times as well as in the oven and I have wondered about the use of water baths and the value of them. For those who don't know, most oven-baked custards use a water bath (placing the baking dishes in a larger pan full of hot water) to regulate the temperature. It creates a softer custard with a smoother texture. For these banana custards, I used a water bath for some but also made one without the bath. There wasn't a problem with the one which was made sans bath, but it was firmer and cooked faster. If you want a finer, softer texture, use the bath. If you don't care and want something which is more firmly set, you can skip the bath.
Banana Custard (sugar-free, low-fat, gluten-free)
3 medium eggs
4 tbsp. Splenda granular (1/4 cup)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup banana puree (about 2 large bananas)
1 1/2 cups skim milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F./175 degrees C.
- Spray 4 ramekins or individual serving Pyrex baking dishes with cooking spray.
- Puree the bananas in a food processor.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor bowl and process until fully incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dishes/ramekins (up to the top is fine). There may be a little leftover.
- If using a water bath, place the baking dishes into a larger dish and fill the larger dish with very hot water up to the lip of the dishes. The water level should reach the top of the custard mixture.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the custard is set on the sides and slightly jiggly in the center. If you are not using a water bath, it may take less baking time (likely 25-30 minutes).
- Allow to cool on a rack to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.