My first encounter with banana cream pie was when I wanted to know if I could buy “banoffee pie” in the US. The answer was no, but we have something similar called banana cream pie. Ok, it does have some similarities, but it’s not exactly the same. The main difference is that banoffee pie has a “toffee” layer instead of the vanilla flavored pastry cream filling.
I’ve never made this because although I love buttery pastry (crust), banana, pastry cream and cream, I just didn’t find it appealing to make. The pie itself has no redeeming nutritional value, other than there is bananas in it. It is packed full of fat, sugar and more fat.
The reason why I wanted to try and make it was because A. went on a camping trip and took with him some banana cream pie that needed rehydrating. Because it was so bad, a real one needed to be made to take away the memory.
Although I have recipes for sweetcrust pastry (crust) and pastry cream, I didn’t want to second guess the amounts needed for one pie, so I did an online search. The pastry (crust) is closed to a shortbread rather than shortcrust, and the overall result is pretty good. Good enough for us to finish a whole banana cream pie in one day. We found that letting the pie sit in the refrigerator for a few hours brings out the banana flavor. Next time, I may add some ripe banana puree to the pastry cream.
Other than that, I think I still prefer the banoffee pie better.
BANANA CREAM PIE
Makes one 20-23 cm (8-9 inch) pie
Adapted from joyofbaking: banana cream pie
For the pastry (crust)
- 150 g (1 c) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 35 g (1/3 c) icing (confectioners) sugar
- 115 g (1/2 c, or 1 stick) cold, salted European butter, cut into cubes
For the pastry cream:
- 300 ml (1 ¼ c) milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large egg yolks (I like using duck egg yolks because they are richer)
- 50 g (¼ c) raw cane (turbinado) sugar
- 2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
- 2 tablespoons cornflour (corn starch)
For the filling:
- 2-3 large bananas, peeled sliced
For the topping:
- 180 ml (¾ c) double (heavy whipping) cream
- 2 tablespoons icing (confectioners) sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dark chocolate shavings (optional)
1. To make the pastry (crust), pulse together the flour, butter and sugar in a food processor until it starts to clump.
2. Press the mixture into a 20-23 cm (8-9 inch) tart tin with a removable base. With a fork, prick the base of the pastry case (pie crust) all over (this will prevent it from rising whilst baking). Chill for at least 30 minutes (this will prevent shrinkage whilst baking).
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F). Bake the pastry case (pie crust) in the middle of the oven for 13-15 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool.
4. To make the pastry cream, mix everything until smooth in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens considerably. Place a piece of cling film (plastic wrap), directly on the surface of the pastry cream and cool to room temperature, and then chill until cold.
5. When you are ready to assemble, make the whipped cream topping by using electric beaters to whip the cream, sugar and vanilla until peaks form. Be careful not to overwhip.
6. Beat the pastry cream to remove any lumps, and spread into the pastry case (pie crust). Top with sliced banana, and spread the whipped cream on top. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings and chill for 1-2 hours. Slice, serve and enjoy!