[Photograph: Veronica Meewes]

Few things bring me back to childhood in a single bite like banana pudding. There's something about the creamy, cool simplicity of vanilla pudding sweetened with banana slices and contrasted with the slight give of Nilla wafers—I couldn't think of a more well-received contribution to a picnic or better end to a summer bike ride.

Melissa Brinckmann, owner of Austin's Cake and Spoon bakery, has managed to capture that same nostalgic taste (except with an adult twist) in her bourbon banana pudding pie. Made exclusively for Austin's uber-popular Franklin Barbecue, insiders know they can skip the hours-long line and just get a mini pie—though be warned they sell out just as often as Franklin's brisket and sausage.

Brinckmann says the Franklins came to her back when both their businesses were just getting their start, a mere half block from one another. They wanted wanted a homestyle dessert to complement their barbecue, and the resulting product is as straightforward as it is delectable: thick bourbon pastry cream is piped over freshly sliced bananas into an unabashedly buttery, rich crust made primarily from ground vanilla wafers.

"It's real simple," says Brinckmann. "You've got a homey banana pie with a little zing to it with the bourbon. They sell a lot of them. We're very fortunate that they carry our product and we're very happy to be able to work with them."

Brinckmann sources many of her ingredients locally; her pastry cream uses natural, cage free eggs from Smith & Smith, a family farm which peddles their fresh poultry and eggs at the same weekly market where Brinckmann is a vendor.

Outside of these custom banana pies sold at Franklin and special orders which can be picked up at their eastside kitchen, Cake and Spoon can be found at four different farmer's markets through the week, selling out of scones, quiches, and tarts in record time.

If you are as enamored as I was with the bourbon banana pie, you might want to special order a large one through Cake & Spoon or Franklin Barbecue. The thick, buttery crust crumbles perfectly into the sliced bananas cloaked in luscious pastry cream, much like the old-fashioned pudding by which it was inspired.

Cake and Spoon

3008 Gonzales Street, Suite K, Austin TX 78702 (map);
(512)-426-7697; cakeandspoon.com

About the Author: Veronica Meewes is an Austin-based freelance writer and food blogger who will travel for food but always comes back for breakfast tacos. Follow her on Twitter @wellfedlife and visit her blog.


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