One of my top 5 all-time favorite desserts is banana cream pie. We don’t have it too often, mainly because it’s not the healthiest of desserts but it tastes really good and since it was Father’s Day, Michelle decided that it was a nice treat for me to have for the day. I had looked at recipes for banana cream pie, namely because I was a little disappointed in the traditional flavor you get out of making the pie with your standard, boxed banana pudding and some with cream. I wanted something that had a little more of an intense banana flavor, and I came across this recipe in Cook’s Country and thought it would be really good to try.
Banana Cream Pie
5 ripe bananas
4 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 store-bought or homemade pie crust
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Peel 2 of the bananas and slice them into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced bananas and cook until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the half-and-half, bring to a boil, and boil for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat, cover, and allow to sit for 40 minutes.
Whisk the granulated sugar, egg yolks, and salt together in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk in the cornstarch. Strain the cooled half-and-half mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the yolk mixture – do not press on the bananas – and whisk until incorporated; discard the cooked bananas.
Transfer the mixture to a clean medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it is thickened to the consistency of warm pudding (180°), about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat; whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl, press greased parchment paper directly against the surface, and allow it to cool for about one hour.
Meanwhile, roll the pie dough into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured counter. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate, fold the edge of the dough under itself so the edge of the fold is flush with the outer rim of the plate, and flute the edges. Refrigerate for 40 minutes, then freeze for 20 minutes. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375°.
Line the chilled pie shell with a 12-inch square of aluminum foil, folding the foil over the edges of the dough. Fill with pie weights and bake for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and the weights, rotate the plate, and continue baking until the crust is golden brown, about 7 to 11 minutes. Allow it to cool to room temperature.
Peel and slice the remaining 3 bananas to about 1/4-inch-thick and toss them with the orange juice. Whisk the pastry cream briefly, then spread half over the bottom of the pie shell. Arrange the sliced bananas on the pastry cream. Top with the remaining pastry cream.
Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, whip the cream, confectioner’s sugar, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form, about 1 to 3 minutes. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the top of the pie. Refrigerate the pie until it is set, at least 5 hours and up to 24 hours.
I have to say that the pastry cream that you make for this recipe gave the pie a much better flavor than any other pie that I had had before. You want to make sure that you use bananas that are not green or overripe. If they have just the right amount of yellow with a few brown spots, you will get the best banana flavor out of them. Cooking them in the half-and-half mixture really leeches all of the flavor out of the bananas themselves and pulls the taste right in. If you didn’t want to go through everything with the pie crust, you could certainly use a simple, store-bought, pre-made crust that you could just pour the mixture into, but it does add more to the flavor if you follow the recipe exactly. I would certainly make pie this way again instead of using the banana pudding that you buy in the store.
That’s all there is for today. Check back again later on in the week to see what of the recipes I post. As I said, I do have a few other recipes that I have made recently that I do want to get on here, so check back and see what comes up next. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!