DONKEY KONG - Tropical Banana & Coconut Cream Pie
Updated: Jul 19, 2021
He’s the leader of the bunch. You know him well. Gourmet Smash Ultimate’s menu continues to expand, and today we’re taking a trip to Kongo Jungle – that’s right, it’s time for a dish inspired by gaming’s most famous ape, Donkey Kong! A recipe inspired by the Kong where bananas are not the star of the show – that’s got to be illegal, right? Bananas are DK's answer to Mario’s coin and Zelda’s rupee, and the in-universe lore surrounding these potassium-packed fruits goes surprisingly deep. (Just check out the feature length article on the “Great Ape War” on the Donkey Kong wiki…) Banana cream pie was a no brainer for the king of swing!
These bananas are encased in a delightful coconut-infused cookie crumb crust. The association between the Kong and coconuts has been forever immortalized in the infamous “DK Rap” (“if he shoots ya, it’s gonna hurt!”) as well as the so-bad-its-good Donkey Kong Country television show (I’ll let the memes speak for themselves…). The Nilla wafer crumbs give this dish a bit of a banana pudding vibe - and the sweet and tangy pineapple custard and a hint of lime is reminiscent of a piña colada, an appropriately tropical twist for this perfect primate pie!
Coconut oil, for greasing
1 ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups Nilla wafer crumbs
½ cup brown sugar
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 tbsp honey
1 cup pineapple juice (alternatively, try it with orange juice, or a half-and-half mix!)
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 egg yolks, beaten
3 tbsp corn starch
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 bananas, sliced
Preheat oven to 350°. Spread coconut on a baking sheet and roast until golden brown, 5-10 minutes. Grease a 9 inch round pie plate with coconut oil.
Combine the graham crumbs, ½ cup of the toasted coconut, the zest of the lime, butter, honey, and ¼ cup of the brown sugar in a medium bowl until the mixture resembles wet sand. Press mixture onto the bottom and sides of the pie plate to form crust (use a flat metal spatula or the flat bottom of a cup measure to make sure it is neat and even). Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes until slightly darker in colour, then place in refrigerator to cool completely.
Meanwhile, add pineapple juice and the remaining ¼ cup brown sugar in a saucepan and reduce until thick and syrupy. Add coconut milk, 1 cup of the heavy cream, egg yolks, corn starch, salt, and vanilla into a saucepan and whisk to combine. Gently heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove custard from heat and stir in ½ cup of the toasted coconut, set aside.
Layer sliced bananas into the bottom of the pie crust (set aside a few slices for decoration) and cover with custard mixture. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour or until custard is set.
Whip the remaining cream with a tablespoon of lime juice until it forms stiff peaks. Spread evenly over the pie, and top with the remaining toasted coconut and additional banana slices.
TOP TIER TIPS
Feel free to experiment with other types of cookies for the crust - look for a crunchy and relatively plain-tasting biscuit, such as graham crackers or digestive biscuits.
This recipe may leave you with more pineapple custard than can fit into your pie crust, depending on the size of your pie dish - not a problem, because this stuff tastes delicious on its own!
Adding all of the beaten egg yolks directly into your hot custard mixture risks scrambling the eggs, which makes for a very unpleasant consistency. This can be avoided by "tempering" the eggs: stir some of the hot custard into the eggs one spoonful at a time to gradually warm up the eggs rather than blasting them with heat directly in the saucepan.