Pies Uncategorized

Bananas Foster Cream Pie

Growing up we didn’t make a lot of pies. We certainly ate them, but if I recall correctly, they were usually ones bought from a farm stand on the way to our cottage. My mom always said that you were usually either a pie baker or a cake baker but rarely both. We definitely made more cakes from scratch than pies. My mother-in-law is the opposite. She is a fantastic pie baker but my husband says they didn’t make many cakes from scratch when he was young. As a teenager, I discovered Key Lime Pie and that became a signature dish. You can see my recipe here. But if I made other pies, I rarely made pie crust from scratch until the last few years.

Until this year, I had never had any kind of cream pie. After trying and loving Coconut Cream Pie, I wondered about trying Banana Cream Pie. When I looked at recipes for this pie I thought it sounded … well…. boring! Most banana cream pies simply consist of sliced bananas underneath a vanilla custard, topped with whipped cream. The only banana component of the pie is the sliced bananas. At first I thought of putting either a layer of caramel of chocolate ganash but then I thought that if I was going to make a Banana Cream Pie, bananas should be the star ingredient. So I put my thinking cap on and worked on how to achieve that.

Then I remembered another favourite dessert of mine: Banana’s Foster! I first had Banana’s Foster at a fine dining restaurant in Florida, with my mom and my oldest sister. The waiter prepared it for us table side and I loved the flavour as well as the drama of flambeing the bananas. I often make a mini version of this if I want a quick dessert, by sauteing some bananas in butter, sugar and rum and serving it over vanilla ice cream. I thought that flavour profile would work well with custard and cream, so I searched around to see if there were any recipes out there that I could base my pie on. There were a few out there including one from Fine Cooking and one from Taste of Home. I ended up combining elements from both the Fine Cooking and the Taste of Home Recipe with a Vanilla Custard Pie from Cook’s Illustrated. The Cook’s Illustrated recipe used some evaporated milk in the custard to give some caramel notes, which I thought would be nice. The Fine Cooking recipe started by steeping bananas in milk for more banana flavour in the custard and the Taste of Home recipe added some cinnamon and nutmeg to the custard (I put mine in with the bananas). I thought between the 3 recipes I would end up with good banana flavour for my pie. All 3 recipes used a regular butter pie crust. Having tasted the Coconut Cream Pie with both a butter pie crust and a graham cracker crust, I decided to opt for the graham cracker crust. I like the flavour of that kind of crust better with custard and I thought it would hold up better to the wetter layer of Bananas Foster.

For the steeped banana milk, they suggest steeping the bananas for 30 minutes to 2 hours. I decided to do the milk the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I wasn’t disappointed. When I tasted the custard the next day after making it, it had a pleasing, subtle banana flavour. The recipe for the custard called for a vanilla bean, but you could substitute vanilla extract. I went with the same rum whipped cream that I used for the Coconut Cream Pie to compliment the rum in the bananas and custard. Don’t worry this pie is not boozy at all as most of the rum is cooked! I happened to have some salted caramel sauce in the freezer, leftover from a cake I made in the winter so I decided to drizzle some of that on top of the finished pie.

If you don’t want to use evaporated milk since you will have some leftover from the can, you can just substitute more whole milk.

This pie is a real winner! I hope you try it!

[recipe title=”Bananas Foster Cream Pie” servings=”8-10″ cooktime=”7 hours including cooling the crust and chilling time” difficulty=”moderate” description=”This pie is a celebration of bananas with a layer of bananas foster underneath a banana-vanilla custard, topped with rum whipped cream.”]
[recipe-ingredients]

For the Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups (370 ml) graham wafer crumbs
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml)cinnamon
  • 5 tbsp (70 g)unsalted butter, melted
  • For the Custard
    – 2 1/4 cups (560 ml) Whole Milk
    – 3-4 medium ripe bananas, sliced
    – 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (150 ml) granulated sugar
    – 1/4 cup (60 ml) corn starch
    – 1 pinch salt
    – 1/2 cup (120 ml) evaporated milk
    – 5 large egg yolks
    – 1/2 vanilla bean (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
    – 2 tsp (10 ml)dark rum

    For the Banana Layer
    – 3 medium ripe bananas
    – 2 tbsp (30 g) unsalted butter
    – 1/3 cup (78 ml) brown sugar
    – 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) cinnamon
    – 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) nutmeg
    – pinch of salt
    – 2 tbsp (30 ml) dark rum

    For the Whipped Cream

    • 1 1/2 cups (370 ml)heavy cream, chilled
    • 1 1/2 tbsp (45 ml) icing sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) dark rum
    • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) vanilla extract
    • Optional Toppings
      – 1 banana, sliced into rounds
      – caramel sauce
      [/recipe-ingredients][recipe-directions]

    For the Steeped Milk
    1. Combine whole milk and sliced bananas. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand for 30 minutes to 2 hours. If you want to steep longer, you can then keep mixture in the fridge overnight.
    2. Arrange a fine mesh sieve over a 4 cup measure or bowl and strain the mixture. Gently press bananas with a silicone spatula to squeeze out the milk. You should have a total of 2 cups of milk. If you have too much, discard the extra, if you have too little, add more milk. Cover and keep chilled until you are ready to use the milk.

    For the Crust

    1. Preheat oven to 350F
    2. Combine graham wafer crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and butter in a medium bowl.
    3. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate.
    4. Bake until crust is starting to turn golden, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.

    For the Bananas Foster
    1. Cut the peeled bananas lengthwise in half, and then cut crosswise into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces.
    2. Put the butter in a medium skillet, and cook over medium heat until bubbling.
    3. Add the brown sugar and stir to mix.
    4. Add the banana pieces, and sprinkle with the rum, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Increase the heat to medium high and cook, using a silicone spatula to turn and gently stir, until the bananas are soft and the juices are reduced and thick, 5 to 6 minutes.
    5. Set aside to cool while you prepare the custard.

    For the Custard
    1. Whisk sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a medium saucepan. Whisk in evaporated milk, followed by egg yolks and finally the steeped milk, whisking until smooth.
    2. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using the tip of a paring knife, scrape out seeds from one half, then combine the half vanilla bean and seeds with the milk mixture. Reserve other half for another time.
    3. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and becomes smooth, about 1 minute.
    4. Remove from heat and stir in butter and rum. Let mixture cool, stirring often for 5 minutes.
    5. Remove vanilla bean.

    For Assembly
    1. Pour cooled banana mixture over your cooled crust and spread evenly.
    2. Pour warm custard over banana mixture and smooth top.
    3. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling and refrigerate pie until filling is chilled and set, about 4 hours.

    For the Topping

      – Before serving, whip the cream, sugar, rum and vanilla together on medium-low speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to high and continue to whip until the cream forms soft peaks, 1 to 3 minutes. Spread or pipe the whipped cream decoratively over the filling.
      – Optional: top with sliced banana rounds and caramel sauce.
      [/recipe-directions][/recipe]

    Combine whole milk and sliced bananas. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand for 30 minutes to 2 hours. If you want to steep longer, you can then keep mixture in the fridge overnight. Arrange a fine mesh sieve over a 4 cup measure or bowl and strain the mixture. Gently press bananas with a silicone spatula to squeeze out the milk. You should have a total of 2 cups of milk. If you have too much, discard the extra, if you have too little, add more milk. Cover and keep chilled until you are ready to use the milk.

    Preheat oven to 350F. Combine graham wafer crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and butter in a medium bowl.

    Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate.

    Bake until crust is starting to turn golden, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.

    Cut the peeled bananas lengthwise in half, and then cut crosswise into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces.

    Put the butter in a medium skillet, and cook over medium heat until bubbling.

    Add the brown sugar and stir to mix.

    Add the banana pieces, and sprinkle with the rum, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

    Increase the heat to medium high and cook, using a silicone spatula to turn and gently stir, until the bananas are soft and the juices are reduced and thick, 5 to 6 minutes. Set aside to cool while you prepare the custard.

    Whisk sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a medium saucepan.

    Whisk in evaporated milk, followed by egg yolks and finally the steeped milk. Whisking until smooth.

    Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using the tip of a paring knife, scrape out seeds from one half. then combine the half vanilla bean and seeds with the milk mixture. Reserve other half for another time.

    Then combine the half vanilla bean and seeds with the milk mixture. Reserve other half for another time.

    Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and becomes smooth, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in butter and rum. Let mixture cool, stirring often for 5 minutes. Remove vanilla bean.

    Pour cooled banana mixture over your cooled crust and spread evenly.

    Pour warm custard over banana mixture and smooth top. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling and refrigerate pie until filling is chilled and set, about 4 hours.

    Before serving, whip the cream, sugar, rum and vanilla together on medium-low speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to high and continue to whip until the cream forms soft peaks, 1 to 3 minutes. Spread or pipe the whipped cream decoratively over the filling. Optional: top with sliced banana rounds and caramel sauce.

    Here is a view of the sliced pie with it’s layers of banana, custard and cream.

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