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Banana Cream Pie

August 7, 2010

Have you ever had a craving for something you’ve never eaten before? Well that’s precisely what happened to me at the end of last week. I had a mad insatiable craving for Banana Cream Pie. Not just banana, not just pie. But Banana Cream Pie.

So I whipped out my trusty Williams-Sonoma Pie & Tart recipe book, searched the index for Banana and whaddya know, Banana Cream Pie =) So on one of my many trips to the supermarket this past week (hey it was a tough week ok), I picked up a bunch of bananas, some cream and a pack of large eggs, and I was good to go…

I finally got round to baking my pie on Wednesday. Don’t you find baking to be a pretty accurate meter of your emotional health? Well it has been in my life, and based on my bake-0-meter, I was in pretty shabby condition on Wednesday!

FIRST BIG BOO-BOO: I was supposed to make the pie dough, fit it into the tin, refrigerate it, bake it, then put the filling in. I remembered all of those steps, except the baking bit. Oh yes. I poured all my lovely filling into the uncooked pie dough, shrieked in horror upon realising what I had done, poured out my filling, threw out the dough, and started over again.

SECOND BIG BOO-BOO: I was supposed to cook the custard for 8 minutes while stirring continuously. I cleverly decided to multitask during this time, and I stirred my custard continuously aright – but only after the first six minutes had gone by (after I smelt something burning…).

THIRD BIG BOO-BOO: While my cream was being whipped, I forgot it was being whipped, and it went all the way from liquid to frothy to cloud-like (shoulda stopped there!) to solid-clumpy-like.

So it really is a downright miracle that the pie came out ok at the end of it all. Not just ok – but really really good actually. I couldn’t stop at one slice!

It’s a very long recipe, so I’ll stop regaling boring you with my story-telling and get right to it… (But first, I must apologise for the AWFUL photos. I’m losing my picture-taking mojo! *sob* And having trouble figuring out my new 35mm lens…)

Banana Cream Pie

(adapted & re-written from Pie & Tart)

Click here for printable recipe.

Ingredients:

For the Pie Crust:

  • 1-1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 125g cold unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp ice-cold water

For the Custard:

  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2-1/4 tsp unflavoured powdered gelatin
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks (about 100g in weight)
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 large or 5 small ripe bananas

For the Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy/thickened/double cream (I used almost a full tub of Bulla thickened cream)
  • 1 tbs rum or other dark, sweet alcohol (I used Kahlua)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar

Directions:

For the Pie Crust:

1. Stir together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter into very small pieces (smaller than 1cm cubes if possible) and add to the flour mixture. Quickly rub the butter into the mixture using a fork. Finally add the cold water and mix into the dough with the fork until the dough comes together.

Tip: Much easier cutting the butter with a pastry cutter if you have one, but sadly I do not!

2. Roll the dough into a ball and transfer to a floured work surface. Flatten ball into a disk and roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Fold your dough into half then a quarter, turn it 90 degrees, and roll it out again till you get a round about 11 inches in diameter.  Sprinkle flour liberally as required – this is a fairly sticky dough.

Tip: I like to have a little bowl of flour ready by the side before I work with dough. And always roll out your dough in one direction from the center, so upward/downward/leftward/rightward from the center, but NOT up and down over the same area.

3. Loosely fold the circle of dough into half and transfer to a 9-inch pie dish. Unfold the dough and fit it into the bottom of the dish and up the sides. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes until firm. During this time make your custard.

Tip: Trim off excess dough by rolling your rolling pin along the circumference of the pie ring.

4.  Heat oven to 190 degC. Remove pie shell from the refrigerator. Line the shell with a large piece of aluminum foil that covers over the shell completely. Weigh the shell down by pouring rice onto the aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the rice and foil and bake for another 8 minutes.


For the Custard:

5. Mix gelatin with water and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Warm the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until hot to the touch. Remove from heat. Cut bananas into 1cm-thick slices (you don’t need to be too precise).

7. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Add cornstarch and salt and beat by hand until mixture is smooth. Mix in the hot milk gradually. Finally scrape in the gelatin and mix well. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, STIRRING CONTINUOUSLY until mixture bubbles. At the end of it the custard will look a little lumpy, and that’s ok. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

8. Stir banana slices into the custard and spoon it into the BAKED pie crust. Cover it with plastic wrap, make a few holes in the plastic with the tip of a knife, and refrigerate for 4 hours. (Don’t worry about the plastic wrap touching the custard – it’s supposed to. When the custard cools and solidifies it will naturally pull away from the wrap.)



For the Cream: (make the cream only after the custard has been refrigerated in the crust for 4 hours)

9. In an electric mixer, beat together the cream, alcohol, vanilla and sugar on medium-high speed until soft peaks form (don’t overbeat!). Spread the cream over the chilled pie. Refrigerate.

10. To serve, remove from refrigerator and allow to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Et voila!

Tarte à la Banane et Crème

(the irony is this dessert doesn’t exist in France)

Now doesn’t that look inviting? Smooth creamy custard with banana and cream… mmm.

My mum has cleverly suggested a Durian version next. And I might just take her up on it. I love a good project!

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. August 8, 2010 2:05 pm

    looks yummy! I love bananas and this dessert makes me drool. I think your pics are good, i like especially the last second pic 😀

  2. Lazy Susan permalink
    August 8, 2010 10:48 pm

    looks yummy babes!durian cream pie shd be fab!!! try try!

  3. August 9, 2010 11:23 am

    noobcook & Lazy Susan: Thanks much girlies =)

  4. August 9, 2010 1:37 pm

    Looks great! Always love a good banana cream pie.

  5. cons permalink
    August 9, 2010 4:42 pm

    wow…what a baking experience! I am glad that it turns out great!

  6. August 9, 2010 8:28 pm

    Clare, I was smiling to myself as I read about your boo boos… that happens to me alot too especially when I am trying out new recipes for the first time. My kitchen looks worse than war wrecked Iran!

  7. August 10, 2010 8:00 am

    I am never a fan of cream so I am not so much of a cream pie person. Your collage looks great and esp helpful for a baking-idiot like me. Thanks so much!

  8. August 10, 2010 4:13 pm

    Ellie, cons, tigerfish: Thanks! =)
    shirley: haha yeah it’s no fun when you don’t have cleaning help at home!

  9. August 13, 2010 11:30 am

    I made this once but the kids didn’t quite like it. May try your recipe one day.

  10. August 13, 2010 12:08 pm

    Kids can be so different =) My good friend’s one-year old loved it – I gave his mom a slice but he ate it all up for her!

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