I would like to thank everyone for the support they’ve given to me and my family over the course of the past several weeks. The road is long, but I hope that with time we learn to deal with our pain in a healthy and positive manner.
This Banana Cream Pie is one that is very special to me. We celebrated my parents 35th wedding anniversary last year, and I had prepared 2 pies similar to this for the event. They were received with great praise, and more important, Mummi and Papa both enjoyed them.
Last week my close childhood friends came to spend the day with me (our group of friends were all together under the same roof for the first time in 6 years!). They brought along a delicious lunch of Caesar Salad,Garlic Bread, Buffalo Chicken Pasta (recipe which I’m dying to get from my friend), and Sticky Date Pudding (totally delish!). I decided to bake this pie for the occasion, considering how close it is to my heart, and these friends of mine are too.
Just a note about the recipe- I am a totally low maintenance kind of cook, but with that being said, the use of vanilla beans in the pastry cream really makes this pie shine. If you are unable to use vanilla beans for whatever reason, just add 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract to the cream after it’s done cooking. Also, the decorative border around the edges of the crust are actually just spoon indentations! Totally simple!
Banana Cream Pie
Yield: 1- 9” Pie
For Pie Crust:
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cold, but into small pieces
- 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and beans scraped
- 3 to 4 bananas
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
Make Pie Crust:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add the butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds.
With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until the dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of the dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface. Shape into a flattened disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch round, a bit less than ¼-inch thick. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, trim crust so there’s a 1/2-inch overhang all around. Fold under overhang so it extends slightly beyond edge of pie plate. Crimp edge as desired. Prick dough all over with a fork. Brush pie crust with beaten egg. Chill pie shell until firm, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375˚.
Line chilled pie shell with a round of parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges of crust just turn golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment. Return crust to oven, and continue baking until golden all over, 20 to 25 minutes more. Place pie shell on a wire rack to cool completely.
Prepare an ice bath; set aside. In a bowl, lightly whisk egg yolks; set aside.
In a saucepan, whisk together milk, granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla bean. Bring to a simmer (do not boil), and cook, whisking constantly, 3 to 4 minutes.
Once the milk begins to simmer, slowly drizzle it in a thin stream into the egg yolks, whisking all the while to prevent the eggs from curdling.
Transfer the custard to a heat-proof bowl and cook over a saucepan of boiling water (a double broiler), whisking constantly, until the custard is thick and bubbles begin to form in the middle. Remove from heat and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the custard so that a skin does not form. Set in the ice bath and cool completely.
Cut the bananas into ¼-inch slices, slightly on the bias. Beginning at the edge of the piecrust, arrange the slices in slightly overlapping rows. Cover with custard, using an offset spatula to smooth it into an even layer.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine cream and confectioners’ sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Using a small offset spatula, spread the whipped cream on top of the custard.
Refrigerate pie, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.