BEFORE MY RECENT TRIP TO THE WEST COAST, reader Brigid asked if I had a recipe for “real” Banana Cream Pie (meaning no instant-pudding allowed). I found such a recipe in my 42-year-old Betty Crocker cookbook, and sent it to her. But the story didn’t end there. For I dreamed about Banana Cream Pie that night.
I also dreamed about the pie while attending my niece’s wedding at a really cool ranch in Calgary. And while eating fresh huckleberries in Coure d’Alene, Idaho. And after dining on coconut shrimp in Spokane, Washington. Yes, I obsessed about the pie the entire time I was away.
Yesterday, my obsession became a reality. A smooth, creamy, vanilla-rich reality. If you don’t make this divine dessert too, I promise you it will envelope your every action. It will even haunt you during yoga class.
Banana Cream Pie
Based on a recipe from Betty Crocker, 1969
9-inch deep-dish Baked Pie Shell
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large, ripe bananas
Sweetened Whipped Cream
First, bake the pie shell. I used a store-bought crust instead of my preferred pate brissee. Why? Because my countertops are filled with tomatoes I’m ripening in paper bags. There was simply no space available for my food processor, let alone my big jar of flour.
Pierce the shell all over with a fork. Then bake it at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes.
And please click on this picture so you can note how clean (for a gardener) my thumb nail is.
Beat the four eggs yolks into a medium bowl; set aside. I suggest you save and freeze the whites — they will come in handy the next time you wish to make Souffle au Fromage.
Cook the milk mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Then…
Pour the egg mixture back into the milk mixture, and boil, while stirring, for 1 minute. Then stir in the butter and vanilla.
Let cool to room temperature, or, do what I did, and just refrigerate the mix for a few hours. This custard will wait for you while you go make a reservation at that ranch in Calgary I mentioned earlier.
Slice 2 bananas into the pie shell, and then spread on the custard. (If you’ve refrigerated the custard beforehand, and it seems a little congealed, just warm it slightly by setting the pan in a sink of hot tap water for a few minutes,and then whisk until smooth.) Cover the pie with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until decorating/serving time.
How you decorate the pie is entirely up to you. You can spread sweetened whipped cream all over the surface of the custard, and then top with the slices of one banana. Or, just dot the pie with dollops of whipped cream, sticking a banana slice in each dollop as shown.
In the comments field, let me know if you might try this Banana Cream Pie. And if you like the recipes here at A Garden for the House, and would like to burn off a quick calorie, by all means click the “like” button below.
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