Suburban Sweets: Banana Cream Pie

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Graham cracker crust, vanilla pudding, bananas, whipped cream: each delicious on their own, but combined, this dreamy pie is greater than the sum of its parts.  A terrific warm weather treat, banana cream pie is refreshing and light, but satisfyting, too!  It is best served very cold, so plan to prepare it ahead of time and give it at least 8 hours in the refrigerator before serving.  There are many steps in this, but they are well worth it.  Enjoy!

Suburban Sweets: Banana Cream Pie

Suburban Sweets: Banana Cream Pie

Ingredients

  • INGREDIENTS FOR PUDDING:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs yolks, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • INGREDIENTS FOR PIE:
  • 1 ½ cups crushed graham crackers, about 11 large crackers (no fuss method of crushing-place the crackers in a large ziplock, seal and pound with a rolling pin or meat pounder until well crushed.)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened (30 seconds in microwave)
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups vanilla pudding, recipe included here
  • Whipped cream, recipe included here
  • INGREDIENTS FOR WHIPPED CREAM:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

Instructions

  1. Prepare vanilla pudding. In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar, cornstarch and salt until combined. Add milk and heavy cream and heat over medium heat, stirring for a minute. Stir in egg yolks. Continue to heat mixture, stirring occasionally until pudding just starts to thicken, about another five minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until the pudding is thick, for another four minutes or so. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and butter. Set up a mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the pudding through the strainer (this will guarantee silky smooth results!) Allow the pudding to cool to room temperature while you prepare the crust.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar in a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Dump mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and press the crumb mixture to the bottom and sides of the plate using the back of the wooden spoon. Bake the crust for 7 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Place bananas in the cooled pie crust. Spread vanilla pudding over the bananas.
  5. Whip the cream. Combine the heavy cream, vanilla and sugar in a bowl and beat with an electric mixture, on medium-high speed, until stiff peaks form. This will only take about 2-3 minutes. For best results, place bowl and whisk in freezer 10 minutes before starting. Spoon the whipped cream over the pudding.
  6. Refrigerate the pie for 8 hours or overnight. At the last minute, adorn with additional sliced bananas, if desired.
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About Author

Suburban Sweets columnist Josephine D’Ippolito is a baking enthusiast whose passion began more than twenty years ago, when, on a whim, she and her college friend made a single batch of cookies from scratch. One husband, three children and thousands of cookies later, Josephine enjoys the creative and culinary process of baking more than ever. Older, wiser and slightly more health conscious, she tends to justify her habit by making her desserts on the tiny side. Quite possibly her favorite day of the year is her annual cookie exchange held each December, when she gets to revel in the talent and sweetness of her dearest family and friends.

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