This is one of the best desserts I’ve ever eaten. It’s creamy, crunchy, chocolaty, rich and decadent. It’s just perfection! And I’m not surprised. This is my adaptation of Emeril’s masterpiece. Since bananas are available year-round I make this quite often and we never tire eating it.
This is a dessert you start making the day before. The pastry cream needs time to properly cool and thicken in the refrigerator. If you rush it, you can end up with a delicious mess on a plate. That happened to me the first time I made it. We ate it up just the same!
Let’s start with the pastry cream. Pastry cream must be one if the best things ever invented. Hands down. It’s so delicious, I could just stop here. Sometimes I just make the pastry cream and eat that on its own.
Making the Pastry Cream:
In a large heavy bottom saucepan or pot, over medium heat, combine 2 cups whole milk, 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, 1/2 cup of sugar. Bring this to a scalding temperature, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Turn off the heat and add vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, whisk 2 large eggs and 3 egg yolks. Add 1/2 cup corn starch and 1 cup of sugar. Mix well until smooth and eggs are pale yellow. Now temper the egg mixture by slowly drizzling in one ladle at a time of the milk mixture into the egg mixture. As the eggs slowly come up to temperature, they can then be added into the milk mixture.
Bring milk mixture back to a low simmer over low-medium heat. Slowly add the tempered eggs to the milk mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. In about 5 minutes you’ll see it begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon. Strain using a sieve to remove any egg particles. This step guarantees you’ll have a very smooth pastry cream. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it against the cream to avoid a skin from forming. Chill overnight.
Making the Graham Cracker Crust:
The next day, I make the crust. I place the graham crackers, sugar, cinnamon in a food processor and I pulse a few times to break up the crackers. I slowly drizzle the melted butter as I pulse until all the crackers are crumbled. I dump it in my pie pan and press it down. I like to use a measuring cup to press down and get the edges shaped. In a 350° pre-heated oven, I bake the crust for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool completely at room temperature.
Partially Assembling the Pie:
Once the shell has cooled, I start slicing my bananas one at a time to prevent them from browning. I work quickly building my layers of pastry cream and banana slices. I finish with a pastry cream layer. Depending on the size of your bananas, you’ll need 5-6 bananas.
When done layering, wrap pie with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours so the layers set.
Making the Whipped Cream:
While the pie is chilling, I make the whipped cream. In a cold bowl, whip heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a large disposable piping bag that I fitted with a star tip. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble and serve.
Garnishing and Serving the Pie:
Prior to serving, cut the pie into equal slices, pipe the whipped cream over each slice, drizzle with chocolate and caramel sauces, sprinkle with chocolate savings and dust with powdered sugar.
Voila! Enjoy your masterpiece!
Banana Cream Pie
The most luxurious pie you’ll eat. So rich, creamy and delicious. One of my favorite pies, hands down.
- TRADITIONAL PASTRY CREAM
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 large egg
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 5-6 bananas, ripe
- GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
- 1 1/2 sleeves graham crackers
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 Tablespoons granuated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate shavings
- Chocolate sauce
- Caramel sauce
- mint leaves
- powdered sugar
Making the pastry cream:
In a heavy-bottom sauce pan or pot, over medium heat, bring to a scalding temperature 2 cups of whole milk, 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream and 1/2 cup of sugar. Whisk well to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat. Add vanilla extract.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk 2 large eggs and 3 egg yolks. Add 1/2 cup of cornstarch and 1 cup of sugar. Whisk until the eggs are pale yellow in color and all the ingredients are well mixed. Set aside.
Now we need to temper the eggs by slowly drizzling a few ladles of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking vigorously. Don’t add the hot milk too fast, you could end up with scrambled eggs. Once the eggs have been brought up to temperature, slowly add the egg mixture to the milk mixture as you stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Bring the milk back to a slow simmer, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes or until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Note: This step requires your attention, don’t walk away.
Strain through a sieve or fine-mesh strainer into a separate bowl. This will remove all egg particles that didn’t blend well. Please don’t skip this step. Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap against the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming on top. Chill in the refrigerator overnight.
Note: If you’re making and serving the same day – chill the pastry cream at least 8 hours.
Making the Graham Cracker Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, mix the graham crackers, brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and melted butter. Press crumb mixture into a 9 inch deep dish pie pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Allow to cool completely at room temperature before assembly.
Partially Assembling The Pie:
Cut the bananas in slices, one at a time, just as you are ready to assemble. This will help prevent them from browning. Spread 1/2 cup of pastry cream over the bottom of the graham cracker crust, and fill the space with banana slices. Continue to alternate between layers of pastry cream and banana slices, ending with a layer of pastry cream. About three layers. Depending on the size of your bananas, you may use 5-6 bananas. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or until you are ready to serve.
Making the Whipping Cream:
In a cold bowl, mix together all the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. For a more decorative touch, I like to pipe the whipped cream so I store it in the fridge in a disposable piping bag fitted with a decorating tip.
Garnishing & Serving the Pie:
Cut the pie into equal slices. Pipe each slice with whipped cream, drizzle with chocolate and caramel sauce, sprinkle with chocolate curls or shavings and dust with powdered sugar.