Okay, now that I’ve got your attention, I’d like to announce two birthdays: Sue’s, and the Opulent Opossum’s!
Sue’s birthday is today—happy birthday, Sue!
And the Op Op turned two early this month. Two years I’ve been associated with America’s native marsupial! By choice! And it’s been fun.
To celebrate, I’m sharing a dessert recipe with you—it’s something I made up just for Sue’s birthday, since she adores peanut butter, and peanut-butter-and-banana is therefore a favorite flavor combo. (Yeah! She has something in common with The King!)
It’s based on my cherished fruit kuchen recipe from my Grandma Schroeder—a German recipe she learned from her mom—I hope my relatives won’t mind me playing “fast and loose” with the sacred formula. Usually, this is made with seasonal fruit (apples, peaches, berries, grapes), and no peanut butter. But here, the idea is peanut-buttery shortbread-type pastry topped with sliced bananas in a gooey, brown-sugary custard, topped with meringue.
And yeah, it’s pretty good!
Sue’s Elvis Kuchen
(Peanut Butter and Banana Baked Dessert)
2 + 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 + 1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 stick butter
3/4 cup peanut butter (chunky is good—room temperature)
1/2 + 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 to 3 cups bananas, sliced
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven: 350 degrees F.
First, make the dough: Combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 cup white sugar; then cut in the butter and peanut butter. Then, add 1 beaten egg and enough milk (about 1/2 cup) to make it the consistency of cookie dough. You can set this in the fridge while you do the next steps.
Separate 3 eggs (the whites will be used for meringue—let those sit to reach room temperature); beat the yolks, then add 1/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup flour. Slice bananas if not already done.
Spread the dough on the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9 x 9 inch pan. (This is easiest if you push the dough around with your hands— wet your hands with cold water to keep dough from sticking.) Then, add about two layers of sliced bananas. Drizzle the custard over and around the bananas. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until dough is cooked/lightly browned, and custard is set.
While this is baking, prepare the meringue: Beat the 3 room-temperature egg whites on medium with vanilla and cream of tartar for about a minute (until soft peaks form); then switch to high speed and gradually add 1/2 cup white sugar; beat for about four minutes, or until shiny and stiff peaks form.
When the pastry is done, remove from oven and top with meringue. Return to oven for about five minutes or until meringue is lightly brown. Let cool gradually; once cooled, store in refrigerator.