Hello and Happy French Friday! Today’s post is a recipe for a classic kids’ dessert or snack but don’t let that stop you adults from enjoying it too! It’s a no-bake “pot à la creme” which is sometimes sold as a “petit pot”.
Petit pot/ Pot de Crème – what’s the difference?
A pot (rhymes with Poe) de crème is a baked custard. It’s smooth and silky and not too firm. It’s a cooked custard, made with eggs and/or egg yolks, milk and/or cream which is then poured into ramekins or pots and baked in a water bath at a low heat, so it’s a bit fussy to make.
No-bake “petits pots à la ….” are much more simple – custards cooked on the stovetop, thickened with a little cornstarch. Think pudding cups (à la Danette) with a slightly looser texture. A nostalgic dessert for many and a favourite after-school snack.
How does this dairy-heavy dessert do with no dairy?
Pretty well, actually! I’ve been working on a vanilla “petit pot” recently (stay tuned for where you will be able to find the recipe!) and after many iterations (by me and other recipe testers), I think we might finally be at the version I am happy with. But my experiments weren’t able to be enjoyed by my friends who don’t eat dairy so I started thinking about a dairy-free version using coconut milk (not unlike my dairy-free crème caramel recipe). And what goes better with coconut than banana? Especially when you STILL have ripe bananas needing to be used up, no matter how hard you try!
In fact, this version works pretty well and I found the stovetop cooking was much easier than using regular milk. If you keep the heat even under your pot, and whisk continuously, you’ll have a lovely smooth coconut custard that would be equally as good on its own! Adding in the banana makes for a bit more texture (that you sieve most of out before you put it in the serving dishes) and changed the colour quite dramatically. If you Google “banana pudding”, don’t believe the images that are bright yellow! These are a shade of yellow that is definitely not bright, but the bright flavour makes up for it! With only 2 tablespoons of sugar (most of the sweetness comes from the bananas and coconut milk), these are the perfect summer dessert, for adults and kids alike!
- 1 can (400ml) coconut milk milk
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 very ripe bananas (approx 300g total weight), mashed
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- Thin slices of banana
- Flakes of or shredded coconut
- Heat the coconut milk until it’s just about boiling in a medium pot (you can also do this in a microwave as well, just make sure to heat it in increments of 30 seconds so it doesn’t boil over!).
- In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch together in a medium pot. Do your best to get rid of any lumps at this stage.
- Once the coconut milk has just reached a boil, pour a couple of tablespoons of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture and whisk until smooth.
- Slowly pour in the rest of the coconut milk, whisking constantly, then place the pan over medium-high heat.
- Cook the custard, continuing to whisk until the mixture starts to thicken slightly and produce slow large bubbles (around 3-5 minutes - it should be smooth and shiny and look like pouring custard) then quickly remove from the heat.
- Whisk in the mashed banana as best you can.
- Pour the mixture into a clean bowl, pushing it through a metal sieve. As you push the mixture through, it will remove any lumps (of banana or cooked egg).
- Whisk in the vanilla, then the butter, until completely incorporated and the mixture is smooth and shiny.
- Transfer the mixture to 4 -6 small serving dishes, like ramekins and allow to come to room temperature before refrigerating for 4-6 hours.
- Garnish with shredded coconut and banana slices to serve.
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And what about the texture?
The texture of these is looser than commercial pudding-type desserts – if you want yours firmer, you could add 1 tablespoon more cornstarch or cook your custard longer before adding the banana. But my testers thought this was just about perfect! The coconut custard should be smooth and silky and pourable when you add the banana.
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