Our Honey Girl and her Mr. Right stirred up this pie while they were visiting last week. It was a reminder of just how darn good this creamy classic can be. A press-in nutmeg graham cracker crust, quick-cooking rich vanilla custard, sliced bananas, and a crown of softly whipped cream, it’s quite simple. My nutmeg graham cracker crust is extra thick and buttery, so if you favor a more traditional crust, cut the recipe by a third or by half.
Banana Cream Pie
Yield: one 9–inch pie, about 8 servings.
Make the nutmeg graham cracker crust and bake it.
Make the vanilla custard and spread a thin layer on the crust.
Slice a layer of ripe bananas onto the custard. You’ll need about three large bananas for the pie.
Top them with a layer of custard.
Slice another layer of bananas on top.
Top with the remaining custard.
Chill the pie.
Make the whipped cream.
Pipe or spread the whipped cream on top, and refrigerate until serving time.
Nutmeg Graham Cracker Crust
2 ¼ c. very finely crushed graham crackers (2 standard American sleeves of crackers)
5 T. sugar
¾ t. ground cinnamon
¼ t. freshly grated nutmeg
10 T. unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients with a fork until the butter is well distributed.
- Using your fingertips, press the mixture into a pie plate and up the sides until it is uniform and nicely packed.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes, or until it is deep golden brown and toasty.
Stabilized Rich Vanilla Custard
6 egg yolks
1 pint (2 c.) heavy cream
1 vanilla bean
¼ c. sugar
¼ c. cornstarch
- Fill your kitchen sink with a few inches of ice water. This will be your insurance policy against grainy or curdled custard.
- Place the egg yolks in a medium saucepan and give them a quick whisk.
- Add the cream and whisk together thoroughly.
- Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out its pulp with the dull side of a knife.
- Add the pulp and the vanilla bean to the pan and whisk together.
- Shake in the cornstarch while whisking vigorously.
- Over medium heat, warm the soon-to-be custard, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Do not allow it to boil.
- Stir more vigorously as the custard begins to thicken. Watch carefully here. You want a silky, thickened custard but do not want the custard to become grainy. Keep in mind that the chilled custard will be a bit thicker than the hot.
- If your custard appears grainy, plunge the pan into the ice water in your sink, and whisk madly. It will come around. Actually, I always whisk it in the sink, as it brings the temperature of the custard down so that you can eat it sooner.
1 c. cold heavy cream
2 T. sugar
2 T. vanilla extract
- In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream until it is lofty and has soft peaks.
- To pipe the cream, assemble a pastry bag with a star tip. Fold the top of the bag down into a collar and hold the tip up against the bag. Place the bag into a drinking glass like this, and fill it with whipped cream. Then remove the bag from the glass and twist or fold down the top. Pipe the cream by applying gentle pressure at the twist or folded top.
- Alternatively, you may spread the cream with an offset spatula or knife.