If you are a regular to my little corner of the blogosphere, you would know that I’ve featured bananas in recipes many a times. Well, here’s another one for you. Every week I buy a bunch of bananas and at least one or two would go brown and spotty before I get a chance to eat them. Sure I can freeze them for smoothies and I have; there’s about half a dozen taking up space in my freezer right now and I always forget that they’re there. Sure I can make banana loaf or healthy banana oat muffins, but that would be too predictable. I wanted something more indulgent, but I didn’t want to do much work. Enter the banana cream pie. This is by far one of the easiest desserts I’ve ever made. The crust is made of graham wafer crumbs that comes together in less than 10 minutes and the cream filling is made just as quickly by mixing a few ingredients together.
With all that time saved, I was able to “assist” the hubby in re-beautifying our balcony. Too bad it was too chilly outside for us to enjoy this dessert in the new space. Alas, we had to take the party inside.
The crust was a bit crumbly and loose and slightly on the salty side. No problem, nothing that can’t be fixed with a little more butter to bind the crumbs, a few more minutes in the oven and a little less salt.
The filling is deliciously light and creamy, the slight sweetness balanced by…..wait for it…..
…..a thin rich and decadent layer of ganache atop the crust followed by a layer of chocolate cream.
SURPRISE! Did you see that coming?
You can’t get more indulgent than that!
Recipe (adapted from Food & Wine):
Black-Bottom Banana Cream Pie
- 1 1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs (about 7 ounces)
- 1/2 cup sugar (I used 1/4 cup)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt (I used 1/4 tsp and still thought that was a bit salty)
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Filling and topping
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used 3 ounces, ~85 g)
- 3 medium bananas, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream (I used 1 cup)
- 2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar (I used 1/2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
- Chocolate shavings, for garnish (optional)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 ounce chocolate, chopped (~85 g)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a food processor, combine the graham cracker crumbs with the sugar, cinnamon, salt and melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moistened. (I just used my hands. I made the crumbs by putting the graham crackers in a ziplock bag and breaking it up with a rolling pin).
- Press the crumbs evenly into a 9- to 10-inch, deep-dish glass or ceramic pie plate. Bake for about 8 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned and set. Let cool completely. (As I mentioned above, my crust was a bit crumbly – adding more butter may help to bind it better and baking a little longer).
- If using ganache: Set the chocolate into a bowl. Heat the heavy cream to boiling point and pour over the chocolate. Let stand a couple of minutes and gently stir until fully incorporated and glossy. It should be the consistency of warmed chocolate syrup. Cool to room temperature. Pour on top of crust. (I used about half, which was ~12 tbsp, and reserved some for the topping. Use more or less if desired.)
- In a large saucepan (preferably with a rounded bottom), combine the granulated sugar with the cornstarch, egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the milk and whisk until smooth.
- Whisk in the remaining 2 cups of milk and cook over moderate heat (I had it on medium), whisking constantly, until the custard is very thick (and coats the back of a spoon), about 5 minutes (it took 7-8 minutes for me).
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla extract until the butter is melted.
- Pour half of the vanilla custard into a medium bowl.
- Whisk the chopped chocolate into the custard in the saucepan until it is melted.
- Spread the chocolate custard evenly in the pie crust and top with the sliced bananas.
- Carefully spread the vanilla custard over the bananas.
- Refrigerate the banana cream pie until it is well chilled, at least 6 hours and preferably overnight.
- Add banana slices on top of the pie along the outer rim (optional).
- In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream until it is softly whipped. Add confectioners’ sugar (and vanilla if using) and mix until peaks form.
- Mound the whipped cream on top of the pie.
- Garnish the banana cream pie with chocolate shavings and/or leftover ganache.Make ahead: The banana cream pie can be prepared through Step 12 and refrigerated for up to 3 days. The crust can be frozen for up to 2 weeks.