Banana Cream Pie - A Family Favorite
Early in September, when the sweltering days of summer are past, I start planning my Thanksgiving and Christmas pies. Making the decision between chocolate or banana cream pie, my husband asks, "Why not both?" These two seem to be the favorites when it comes to our family gatherings, disappearing in record time.
I've made the following recipe for banana cream pie for a number of years.
Banana Cream Pie
The fresh taste of these homemade desserts will make the effort well worth your time and far superior to using instant pudding or store bought pies. Even if you're an inexperienced baker, this recipe is easy to make.
For a special effect, you can flute the edges whether using a homemade crust or a ready-made refrigerated pie crust making it look fancy.
There are no special skills or fancy equipment required, only a little bit of patience and attention to detail. Dedicate at least thirty minutes to preparing the homemade filling and cooking it to perfection. The rest will fall easily into place.
I enjoy making a crust from scratch for the upper body workout of rolling out the dough. If you're not confident making your own crust, there are easy alternatives that speed up the process. The best part of the recipe is the pudding.
To be sure I have everything, I gather all the necessary ingredients on the kitchen counter before I get started.
Ingredients for the Filling
- 2 Cups Milk, 2% Can be substituted
- 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 4 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- 1/4 Cup Corn Syrup
- 2 Egg yolks
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Banana extract, (Optional)
- Use a dry measuring cup to measure out the sugar leveling off the top with the flat edge of a knife.
- Pour the sugar into a heavy duty, two-quart sauce pan. No need for a double boiler if you watch your mixture carefully as it cooks.
- The recipe calls for only the egg yolks. Separate the egg whites from the yolk over a small bowl by cracking each egg against a sharp edge halfway along the shell. Pull apart the halves and allow the white to drip into the container keeping the yolk in the shell. This might take a little practice. Gently pour the yolk back into the empty half of the egg shell and drain the remaining egg white.
- Add the egg yolk to the saucepan with the sugar.
- Add 1/4 cup of corn syrup to the pan with the sugar and yolks. A rubber spatula is handy to get it all out of the measuring cup.
- Add 4 tablespoons of cornstarch, leveling off the top of the measuring spoon with the flat edge of a knife.
- Pour the cornstarch into the saucepan with the other ingredients.
- Stir in just a little bit of the milk, enough to make a paste and use a whisk to remove any lumps in the mixture before adding the remainder of the milk.
How to Separate the Yolks from the WhitesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Separate the eggs into a small container or bowl in case the yolk bursts. You can refrigerate the egg whites and use on another pie as meringue. Sometimes I add the egg whites to scrambled eggs or cook them for my dogs rather than wasting them. They love eggs!
Measuring the IngredientsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Cooking the Pudding
Stir in the remainder of the milk until all the ingredients are blended. Cook slowly over medium heat stirring constantly.
Tip: Milk tends to scald easily. Stay focused while stirring. The mixture starts out thin and usually takes around fifteen to twenty minutes to thicken and come to a boil. Remove the pan immediately from the burner once it starts to boil.
Add one tablespoon of butter to the hot mixture and stir in a teaspoon of vanilla extract. I like to add a teaspoon of banana extract for extra flavor.
Set the pudding aside to cool while you make the crust. It needs to bake before adding the filling.
Assembling the Pie
- Follow the directions for your favorite pie crust recipe or use a ready-made pie crust.
- Using two fingers of one hand, press the thumb of the opposite hand to form scallops around the edge if desired.
- Use a fork to prick holes around the rim and bottom of the pie crust before baking
- Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
- Allow the pie crust to cool before filling it or the crust will get soggy
- Layer the bottom of the cooled crust with sliced bananas and pour the cooled pudding over the top. Smooth the surface using a spatula to spread the filling evenly.
Refrigerate the finished pie for 2 to 3 hours for best results. Slice individual pieces and garnish with home made whipped cream.
The Pie CrustClick thumbnail to view full-size
If you enjoy whipped cream, it's easy to make it from scratch using heavy whipping cream, a bit of sugar (to taste) and a teaspoon of vanilla. Add the sugar a little bit at a time, using an immersion blender or a whisk. It only takes a couple of minutes. Add the vanilla extract last. Beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form.
Or if you're in a hurry, substitute Cool Whip if you don't have time to make whipped cream from scratch. I hope you'll give this recipe a try at your next family gathering. Serve it and watch it disappear.
Ready to Eat
© 2013 Peg Cole
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