Yesterday, Vickie taught me about the simple joy of banana cream pie. It turned out to be yet another dessert that artfully combines custard and whipped cream, but differently than the princess torte or orange trifle.
Vickie’s Banana Cream Pie Recipe
Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/2 Cups graham cracker crumbs (About 12 crackers)
1 tsp flour
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor (if you don’t have a food processor, you can put the crackers in a ziplock bag, remove the air, and smash with a rolling pin).
Combine all the ingredients and press firmly into a 9” buttered pie plate in an even layer. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes, and let chill at least 45 minutes before filling. (Can also made the day before and kept in the fridge before filling.)
3.5 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup white sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoons vanilla
Mix the cornstarch, sugar and salt with milk in a saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture is thick and with large bubbles (about 7-8 minutes).
Turn the heat down to low while you temper the eggs. To temper the eggs, beat the eggs in separate mixing bowl and add spoonfuls of the hot liquid, whisking constantly. Add a few more tablespoons a spoonful at time. Turn the heat back up to medium and slowly add the tempered eggs to the milk mixture. Stir constantly for about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the butter until it melts. Add vanilla. Optional: Pour through a mesh strainer to get out any little egg lumps. Put the custard in a bowl to cool.
Take a piece of saran wrap and press it directly onto the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
1 cup cold whipping cream
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Combine all the ingredients and whisk until stiff peaks form.
(Be careful not to over whip or you might end up with butter!)
Pro tip: Chilling the metal mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer for 10-15 minutes will help the cream whip quickly
Whipped cream tastes best when it’s fresh, so Vickie usually saves this step until just before serving.
Put it all together
Slice 4-5 bananas (Vickie likes them a little thicker, about 1/3 of an inch)
Scoop about 1/3 of the cooled custard into the cooled graham cracker crust and spread evenly. Arrange the banana slices close together in a layer over the custard, then spread half of the custard you have left over the bananas. Arrange another layer of banana slices over the custard. Top with the remaining custard, covering the bananas completely to prevent them from browning.
Ideally, cover with plastic wrap directly onto the custard and chill for at least 4 hours (realistically, you can just eat it right away; we did.)
When ready to serve, pipe or spread the whipped cream on top of the pie.
*Optional toppings ideas: grated or shaved chocolate, red and green sprinkles around the holidays, chopped nuts