I have a friend who comes to DC from California for work. She’s usually in town for a week at a time and we eat out every night. One night we went to The Partisan, in Penn Quarter. It’s a meat-centric masterpiece of a restaurant. They start you off by presenting you with a sheet of paper that looks like a sushi menu, but it’s all charcuterie. I could spend this entire post talking about my experiences at this restaurant (I’ve been there at least 3 times since), but ironically, I wanted to mention their dessert.
After eating almost everything on the charcuterie menu in addition to at least one item from each page of the menu, we starting thinking about dessert. After a few minutes of digging for antiacid in my purse and reading the dessert menu, we decided against dessert, but there was one item on the menu that stood out for me.
Unfortunately, they change their menu, and I haven’t been able to find out what they called the dessert, but I call it Banana Butterscotch Trifle. It was layers of banana bread, butterscotch pudding, nilla wafers and whipped cream. I knew that I wanted to make that dessert on my on someday.
It’s a year later, and I’m working through the bunch of ripe bananas that my friend gave me when I thought of this dessert and decided to try to make it. I used my own Olive Oil Banana Bread recipe and a Butterscotch Pudding recipe from Smitten Kitchen.
This recipe was a wild wonderful ride. There were so many textures, but the flavors all blended together. The butterscotch blended well with the banana bread with both taste and texture, the nilla wafers added a nice crunch and a pop of vanilla while the whipped cream had a nice cooling quality. It was crazy and I loved it!
Banana Butterscotch Trifle
for the olive oil banana bread
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
for the butterscotch pudding
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- Several pinches of sea salt
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of rum
- Whipped Cream
- Nilla Wafers , crumbled
make the banana bread
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9x5x3” loaf pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, bananas, and oil in a large bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture and stir just until combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top.
Bake until a tester inserted into the center of bread comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let bread cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around inside of pan to release the bread. Turn out onto rack and let cool completely.
make the butterscotch pudding
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and reduce heat to medium-low. Let it heat and bubble for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Don’t let it smoke or burn, which brown sugar is always very eager to do. Reduce heat to low. Combine milk, salt and cornstarch. Switch to a whisk and add the milk mixture in a thin drizzle, whisking the whole time, so that no lumps form. Once all of the milk is added, you can switch back to a spoon. Cook over low to medium-low, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a gentle simmer. Let it simmer for a full minute, stirring, it should clearly thicken at this stage, although it will finish thickening in the fridge. Off the heat, stir in the vanilla extract and rum. Hint: If you want the pudding to set quickly, pour it in a small sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge.
assemble the trifle
Slice the banana bread into ½ inch cubes and place a layer at the bottom of a glass or your favorite dish. Next add a layer of pudding, then Nilla Wafers, then a dollop of whipped cream. Repeat this process until you have whipped cream as the top layer. Garnish with cubed banana bread.