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Grand Cafe's Banana Cream Pie with Coconut Caramel Sauce

1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C. finely ground macadamia nuts
1/2 C. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 T. sugar

2 C. sugar
1 1/4 C. canned unsweetened coconut milk

1 1/2 C. sugar
1/3 C. and 1 T. cornstarch
1/4 t. salt
3 C. cold whole milk
2 egg yolks
2 T. unsalted butter
2 t. vanilla

1 C. heavy cream
1 t. powdered sugar, sifted
2 ripe but firm bananas, peeled and sliced

To make the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a large baking sheet. Arrange eight 3-inch-diameter hinged ring molds on the baking sheet.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs, nuts, melted butter and sugar in a bowl; mix until well blended. Pat the crumb mixture into the ring molds. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool, leaving the ring molds in place.

To make the sauce:
Place the sugar in a small heavy-bottom saucepan over medium-high heat and stir constantly until it melts and turns golden brown. Do not let the sugar burn.

Carefully add the coconut milk, stirring vigorously. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly. Set aside.

To make the custard:
Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large saucepan. Whisk in the milk until the mixture is completely smooth. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and stir until the mixture is warm.

Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl until blended. Stir a small amount of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks. Then pour the egg mixture back into the milk mixture. Cook for about 10 minutes, whisking vigorously, until the custard is quite thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.

Pour the custard into a bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Let cool completely.

To make the topping:
Beat the cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form.

Fold 1/3 cup of the whipped cream into the cooled custard. Beat the powdered sugar into the remaining whipped cream.

To serve:
Slide a spatula under each ring mold and move each to a serving plate. Inside the rings, alternate layers of bananas and custard, finishing with the custard on the top. Carefully unhinge and remove the rings. Spoon the coconut caramel sauce around and over each custard.

Garnish with the sweetened whipped cream.

Serves 8.

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