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Banana Cream Pie

It's funny how rather retro American desserts, like the Banana Cream Pie bring back memories of grandmothers and childhoods. I am happy to report this version, inspired by Sarabeth's Bakery, does not disappoint. You have to make one to see how beautifully it cuts and how fantastic it tastes.

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 12 whole (185g) graham crackers
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp (71g) unsalted butter melted
  • pinch salt
  • 2 oz (57g) bittersweet chocolate very finely chopped (for painting on the finished crust)

Banana Custard Filling

  • 2 1/2 tsp (one package) powdered gelatin
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1 egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup (75g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp corn starch or tapioca flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped Save the pod to make vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream whipped to medium peak
  • 3 large or 4 small bananas cut into 1/4-inch thick coins

Topping

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream whipped to medium peak
  • 1 tbsp confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • chocolate curls for top

Instructions

Graham Cracker Crust

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grind the graham crackers, brown sugar, butter and salt together until it is uniform and sticks together when squeezed. Dump it into a 9-inch pie dish and press into an even crust. Bake for 15 minutes, until set and toasted.
  • Once it is baked and still hot, add the chopped chocolate to the crust and spread it out so it will melt. If it doesn't melt, just put it in the oven for a few minutes. Spread the chocolate out with a spatula or spoon, making sure to bring it up the sides of the crust as well. Set aside so the chocolate can begin to set.

Banana Custard Filling

  • Bloom the gelatin in the 2 tablespoons water. 
  • In a bowl, whisk together the egg, yolks, sugar, and cornstarch.
  • Heat the milk and vanilla seeds in a saucepan until simmering. Whisk a small amount of the hot milk into the egg mixture, repeat until the milk is warm to the touch, then add the warm egg mixture to the saucepan and bring it to a boil, whisking constantly.
  • Once the mixture has started to boil, continue to whisk as it boils for 3 minutes. Any less and your custard may weep once it has cooled. Add the bloomed gelatin and whisk until it is completely dissolved. Strain the custard into a large bowl, cover with plastic and cool to room temperature.
  • Once cooled, fold in the whipped cream, then the sliced bananas and pour into the prepared pie crust. Press plastic right to the surface of the pie and refrigerate for about 2 hours, but this can be made a day ahead. 
  • To serve, cover with the whipped cream topping and chocolate shavings. I used a giant rose tip to pipe the ruffles you see in my photos.