I am a collector (borderline hoarder) of yummy teas. My friend, Kerry, understands this about me, which is why she introduced me to Canadian tea company DAVIDsTEA several years ago. Kerry is from Canada and travels back there often; she usually picks up a DAVIDsTEA treat for me when she goes.
This recipe is inspired by the fun flavored teas at DAVIDsTEA, which never cease to amaze. Their flavored teas are fun to sip and even more fun to cook with. As soon as I discovered their Banana Oolong, I knew I had to try it in a pudding.
I was not disappointed. The flavor of the Banana Oolong tea really comes through, but it’s combined with that creamy vanilla and banana flavor that’s so familiar, even nostalgic, about this classic pudding. It is dangerously bowl-licking good.
It’s exciting to see that DAVIDsTEA is now in the U.S., with stores in New York City, San Francisco and soon to be Chicago. Alas, since they are not yet in Denver, I will have to rely on Kerry’s Canada trips, or the Internet, for my DAVIDsTEA fix.
Happy cooking and sipping!
P.S. Here’s another recipe I made recently with a different DAVIDsTEA: Milk Oolong Braised Fish (or Tofu)
Banana Oolong Pudding
Adapted by Suzanne Klein, Tea Foodie from the Banana Cream Pie recipe on Epicurious.com
Makes 6 servings
1 ½ cups whipping cream
1 ½ cups whole milk
¼ cup loose leaf Banana Oolong tea from DAVIDsTEA (or other banana-flavored tea)
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 to 3 ripe bananas, peeled, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
1. Combine the cream and milk in a medium saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture just barely starts to boil. Remove saucepan from heat, add the loose leaf tea, cover, and steep for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a new container, discard the tea leaves, and allow the cream tea to cool to about room temperature. If a film forms on the cream tea, simply skim it off once the mixture cools.
2. Clean the saucepan you used for the cream tea, and then whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in that saucepan. Slowly pour in the cooled cream tea liquid, whisking constantly so the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the egg yolks, until the mixture is completely combined and smooth. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 6 to 8 minutes. (Really pay attention here to make sure the mixture is nice and thick, but don’t overcook it or it will get lumpy and ruin your pudding texture.) Remove from heat, and transfer the mixture to a new bowl. Stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Then allow the pudding to cool completely, stirring every once in a while to help release heat and keep the mixture from clumping.
3. Layer the cooled pudding and sliced bananas into 6 tea cups or small dessert ramekins; start with pudding, then bananas, then more pudding, then more bananas, and, finally, top with pudding. Make sure to keep the banana pieces completely covered by pudding; they brown easily and the brown bits aren’t very pretty when they stick out. Cover, and set in the refrigerator to chill until very cold and completely set, at least 4 hours. These will keep in the refrigerator for one to two days. Serve topped with a dash of whipped cream and a few slices of banana.