Banana Cream Pie

With all of Sawyer’s posts on pies recently (here, here and here), I was definitely in the mood for pie. But which pie? Being a bit lazy lately, I wanted to make something simple. I decided to pull out my old and very used book of pies and cakes (same recipe book as the cheesecake recipe) and flipped through to see what would be yummy yet simple.

I finally settled on the banana cream pie recipe since I know it’s one of the Mister’s favorite pies. Since there was lots going on that day (had in-laws coming over for dinner), I decided to go with store-bought pie crust to save some time. I made a couple of changes since I really wanted to boost the vanilla flavor since I find that sometimes all I can taste are bananas and the vanilla cream becomes invisible. So I used vanilla sugar as well as adding the seeds from a vanilla bean. Both these additions added the extra vanilla flavor I was hoping for.

Ingredients:

1 pie crust for a 9″ pie pan
2/3 C sugar (I used vanilla sugar that was on hand)
1/4 C cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
3 C milk
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 Tbsp real vanilla extract
Sweeten whipped cream
Scrapings from 1 Vanilla bean (optional)

Line a 9″ pie pan with crust. Finish the edges as desired. Bake pie shell as directed by recipe or package. Cool on rack until needed.

In a saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt. Blend the milk and egg yolks. I used a whisk to incorporate the two ingredients. Stir egg mixture slowly into the dry ingredients, making sure to combine everything together. If using vanilla bean, add the scrapings now.

Just a quick note before the next step. The cooking of the cream is not a part where you want to walk off. It needs to be constantly stirred while cooking. So make sure you can stay with the pot until done.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the saucepan to avoid any browning or burning of the cream. I didn’t time this but it did take a bit of time until it started to thicken. Don’t be alarmed if you start to see clumps of thickening cream on the spoon/spatula. Keep stirring and the rest of the cream will thicken up shortly after. Once the cream thickens and starts to boil, continue to cook for another minute, always stirring! Remove from heat and blend in the butter and vanilla extract. Press plastic wrap onto filling in saucepan and cool to room temperature. The plastic wrap will prevent a (yucky) crust from developing on the top of the cream.

I sliced 2 bananas and layered that on the bottom of the pie crust. Since my bananas weren’t completely yellow and still had a slight “green” taste to them, I decided to add the cooked cream before it completely cooled down. The saucepan was still warm to the touch. I wanted to do this to help soften up the banana just a wee bit.

Chill pie for at least 2 hours. I took out the pie about an hour before serving to pipe on the sweetened whip cream. I used a pastry bag with a large flower tip to make it a bit decorative. Of course the whipped cream could be served on the side or a nice huge dollop on top of a wedge.

But funny after piping the whipped cream all, I forgot to take a picture of the completed pie before it was sliced into. But here’s a shot of what was left.

It was great for breakfast the next morning with coffee. You can just make out the bananas at the bottom.

I really enjoyed the way this turned out and how I could still tasted the vanilla along with the bananas. This pie really isn’t hard to make, especially with store bought pie crust. Just have to remember to use medium heat and keep stirring.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

6 Comments

  1. looks good! a lot prettier than mine. it’s been a while since i had a banana cream, but i’m having trouble finding a place that sells vanilla bean (the one i went to seems to no longer carry it) where do you go to get it? i’ve never heard of or used vanilla sugar either, but next time i’m at the market, i will def. look for that

    • Thanks, Dennis! I purchase in bulk, last time from saffron.com. There are lots of online stores that sell them and you don’t have to buy in bulk. I think I’ve seen vanilla beans at Trader Joe’s before. Penzey’s has stores in Torrance and Santa Monica. They have a nice selection of spices and carry Madagascar and Mexican beans. You can order directly from their online store too. I think they sell vanilla sugar too. But if you’re going to buy vanilla beans, just make it yourself. :)

      Use a mason jar, put the leftover skin (pod) in the jar (after using the seeds and you don’t need the pod), fill jar with sugar and in a few days, you’ll have vanilla sugar! I just keep adding to the jar everytime I use some sugar and then refresh the vanilla whenever I use a new bean. You can also make your own vanilla extract but I’m just too lazy.

  2. Today is Thanksgiving and it’s always up to me to make the pie. My family wants banana cream pie so as a result I found this. It looks wonderful and I’m sure my pie will be a success thanks to your recipe.

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