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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. When making the decision between chocolate or banana cream pie, my husband always asks, "Why not both?" These two seem to be the favorites when it comes to our family gatherings, disappearing in record time.
Making a Homemade Pie Crust
Ingredients for One 9 inch Pie Crust
- 1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 6 Tablespoons shortening (can be half butter, half shortening)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 Tablespoons of cold water (plus a few drops)
Instructions for Making the Pie Crust
- Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
- Cut in the shortening until it resembles a coarse cornmeal, using a pastry blender or two knives.
- Add cold water slowly (this is the danger point) until the dough is moist enough to stick together in a ball, but not sticky. A few more drops of water may be needed depending on the dough. If it doesn't hold together try adding a few drops at a time. Add more flour if it is too wet.
- Putting the dough into the refrigerator for an hour helps make it easier to roll out but not required if your kitchen is cool enough.
- Put the dough on a lightly floured board, a pastry canvas or a clean, dry surface.
- Roll it out evenly to about 1/8 inch thickness.
- Slide the crust into a baking pie dish and cut the edges and form the edge with two fingers of one hand and one finger of the other hand. (see video)
- For a baked crust, prick the bottom and edges with a fork.
- Bake 12 - 15 minutes at 450° F.
Making the Pie Crust - A Peg Cole Video
If you enjoy making a crust from scratch and rolling out the dough, you may want to watch the video for pointers. If you're not confident making your own crust, there are ready-made alternatives that work just as well. I sometimes save time by using the refrigerated roll out pie crusts from the grocery store.
There are no special skills or fancy equipment required, just 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 into place.
The best part of the recipe is the pudding which may also be used for banana pudding using vanilla wafers instead of the pie crust.
To be sure I have everything, I gather all the necessary ingredients on the kitchen counter before I get started.
Baked Pie Crust for Pudding Pie
Ingredients for the Filling or Pudding
- 2 Cups Milk, 2% Works
- 1/2 Cup Sugar, Granulated
- 4 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- 1/4 Cup Corn Syrup
- 2 Egg yolks
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Banana extract, (Optional)
Measuring the Ingredients
- 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.
Separate the Yolks from the Whites
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!
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.
Banana Cream Pie
Fresh Whipped Cream
If you enjoy fresh whipped cream, it's easy to make it from scratch.
- One cup of heavy whipping cream
- 1 Tablespoon of granulated sugar (or substitute artificial sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
Using an immersion blender or a hand mixer whip the heavy cream and sugar until soft peaks begin to form. Add the vanilla extract last.
In just a couple of minutes you can have delicious, fresh whipped cream. I hope you'll give this recipe a try and share it at your next family gathering.
Ready to Eat
© 2013 Peg Cole