Banana Cream Pie
Cream pies are great for winter. Who wants to be making a fruit pie when almost all fruit is out of season? In my neck of the woods, bananas can be found year-round at the grocery store and I have to admit that they are pretty tasty as an addition to this pie.
I’ve never really been a cream pie kind of girl — probably because of my previously elaborated upon aversion to making pie crust. However, just about every book in my vintage cookbook library has heaps of recipes for cream pies in just about any variation and I figured, well, maybe just maybe I could come up with a cream pie that was slightly more modern and slightly more my style.
Part of my new take on this pie was to start it off with a graham cracker crust foundation. Man alive do I love a graham cracker crust. Then I layered thickly sliced bananas on the crust, made a thick vanilla pastry cream and after it cooled dished it over top the bananas, added some more bananas and then topped the whole thing off with barely sweetened whipped cream. So creamy and delicious.
I have to warn you that though this recipe is fairly simple; the cream pie filling, otherwise known as pastry cream, can be a little tricky. It requires patience and a little courage. If you’re bold, don’t hesistate and follow the recipe, you should have great success.
Banana Cream Pie (adapted from Ann Pillsbury’s Baking Book)
Makes one, 9-inch pie
For the Crust:
One recipe Graham Cracker Crust
For the Cream Pie Filling:
2 cups whole milk
6 tablespoons cornstarch
½ cup granulated sugar
4 whole eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
2 bananas, sliced into ¼ inch disks
To prepare the crust:
Prepare as per recipe. Allow to cool.
For the Cream Pie Filling:
In a medium bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in a small amount of milk and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the rest of the milk with the sugar and warm to a boil.
Whisk the whole eggs and the yolks together in the bowl with the dissolved cornstarch mixture. Once the milk and sugar has come to a boil, quickly and without hesitation, whisk a small amount of the hot milk in the eggs. While continuing whisking, add the rest of the hot milk to the eggs and transfer the liquid back to the saucepan. Continue whisking the mixture on the stove until it has thickened and come to a boil. Remove the pastry cream from heat and mix in the vanilla and butter.
Transfer the cream pie filling to a cookie sheet covered in plastic wrap. Cover with plastic wrap and cool immediately.
Once cool, the pie filling can be transferred into the cooled graham cracker crust.
Once the bananas are cut and the cream is whipped, begin to assemble the pie by laying slices of banana directly onto the graham cracker crust. Top with cream pie filling. Lay the remaining slices of bananas atop the cream filling and top with whip cream. If desired, you can decorate the top of the whipped cream with bananas.
Chill till ready to serve.