Banana Cream Pie


I made Banana Pudding not long ago and couldn't believe that it was really as simple as vanilla pudding with banana slices mixed in.  So when a friend at work told me his birthday request was a Banana Cream Pie, I knew I was up for the task.


Last time, I made the pudding using tapioca as a thickener.  This time around I followed a recipe in this amazing Good Housekeeping cookbook another one of my friends gave me that is loaded with fantastic recipes.  It called for using flour as the thickener, mixing the sugars and flour first, heating it with milk, and then adding in the eggs.  So I not only got to try a new recipe, but a new method as well.

I started out by adding the sugar, brown sugar, and flour to a small saucepan.


Next, I turned the heat to medium, then slowly stirred in the milk.  I brought the mixture to a boil, stirring it frequently, and then let it cook for about 10 minutes before taking it off the burner.  The pudding mixture started to really thicken during this process.  In the mean time, I beat the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl, then spooned in some of the hot pudding mixture.  I whisked the pudding and eggs together thoroughly to temper the eggs, then slowly poured the eggs back into the pan.  I heated the stove back to low, and cooked the pudding for a few more minutes until it was very thick, continuing to stir through this process.


I made a crust out of crushed graham crackers and melted butter, mixing the two ingredients together then forming them into a crust in my pie dish.  Next, I set some banana slices over the crust, enough to get some in every slice of pie.  Then, I poured the pudding mixture over it.


After letting the pie rest in the fridge for 4 hours, I got to work on making the whipped cream.  I used the same recipe I had for the Blueberry Chocolate Torte, beating some heavy cream until it was thick and creamy, then adding in some sugar and vanilla.


I gently spooned the whipped cream over the pie and spread it to cover the entire surface.  I added some more banana slices on top for decoration and the pie was complete.


Isn't this one a beauty?  I gotta tell ya, I am very much in love with dessert making.  When it comes down to it, Banana Cream Pie is a very simple dessert only requiring a few steps.  I brought this pie to my buddy at work and he loved it.  He shared with a couple of others there, and everyone gave excellent feedback.  The slice I had was fantastic, and I honestly can't say that I prefer tapioca over flour as a thickener or the other way around.  I'm just glad to enjoy some banana pudding goodness.  Did I mention that I also decided to make a chocolate cream pie the same day?  Yeah, you could say I'm a dessert fan.  That one will be posted soon!

Banana Cream Pie Recipe

Ingredients:

8-10 graham crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups milk
4 egg yolks
3 bananas
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

Add finely crushed graham crackers and melted butter together in a pie dish. Mix with hands and press into dish to form crust. In a medium saucepan, mix sugar, flour, and salt. Heat to medium, and gradually stir in milk. Continue cooking for about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Boil for about 1 minute, then remove from heat. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks. Spoon in some of the heated mixture to temper the eggs, then whisk to combine. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the pan, stirring quickly, and return to low heat. Continue cooking while stirring until mixture is very thick. Do not boil. Remove from heat, then stir in butter and vanilla extract. Slice bananas and toss in lemon juice. Spread slices over pie crust, then pour the pudding over it. Refrigerate and let pie set for 4 hours, covering the filling with plastic wrap. For the whipped cream topping, beat heavy cream for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla extract.   Spread over pie and top with sliced bananas. Keep refrigerated.

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