Bananas. Cream. Pie. Swoon. There just isn’t another pie that gets me as excited as banana cream pie. I mean unless you don’t like bananas, how does a creamy, custardy filling flavoured with ripe bananas on a crisp, shortcrust pastry base topped with lashings of whipped cream not get you excited? And none of that instant pudding stuff here, this is made from scratch and it might not be the easiest banana cream pie recipe, but it’s so worth it.
I’ve always had a love for bananas. I think they are the ultimate dessert fruit and work with so many flavours. Peanut butter, chocolate, cream, vanilla and pastry all taste better when you add bananas. And don’t even get me started on Banana Split Sundaes. I gobbled those up at an alarming rate when I was a child. But back to this pie. The thing with a really great pie is that it takes time. Yes, you could use a ready-made crust and add an instant pudding filling and it will taste fine. But why settle for fine when you can have “oh-my-word-I-want-to-marry-this-pie”?
The shortcrust pastry is really easy to knock together if you have a food processor and if you don’t, it will still only take you a few minutes. However, you can skip this step and use a cookie base, if you really wanted to. Simply crush cookies (like Tennis biscuits if you’re in SA or Graham crackers if you’re international) and mix with melted butter until the mixture resembles damp sand, press that into the bottom of your pie dish and you’re done. However, I really think the shortcrust base adds something special to this pie. While the crust is blind-baking, you get started on the custard filling and when that’s done, you pour it into the pastry case and pop it into the fridge to chill. 2-3 hours of chilling later and you have the perfect banana cream pie. Not too sweet, delicately flavoured with bananas and topped with whipped cream (another one of my obsessions). Now go on, go make this pie this weekend and come back on Monday to tell me how much you loved it!
for the shortcrust pastry
- 125 g 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
- 250 g 2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 4-5 tablespoons ice water
for the banana custard filling
- 3 cups 750ml milk
- 1 cup 250ml cream
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 egg yolks
- 50 g 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon corn flour (This is called Corn Starch in the US)
- 2 large bananas chopped
for the topping
- 3/4 cup 200ml cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 large bananas siced
- chocolate shavings optional
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the butter, flour and sugar. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- With the motor running, add the egg yolks and then the ice water, spoon by spoon until the mixture comes together in a ball in the food processor.
- Remove from the food processor then knead until the dough is smooth then wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºc,
- When the pastry has chilled, roll it out on a floured surface and transfer to a 30cm pie dish/tart case.
- Line with baking paper and fill with dried beans/rice and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the baking paper and beans and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
- In the meantime, bring the milk, cream, sugar and vanilla to a boil in a large saucepan.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the cornflour.
- When the milk has reached boiling point, lower the heat.
- Whilst whisking, ladle in half of the milk mixture to temper the eggs.
- Through a sieve, pour this mixture back in the pot and whisk continuously over medium heat until the custard is thick and smooth. Allow to cook gently, whilst still stirring, until the custard is cooked (it should have no floury taste).
- Stir in the chopped bananas and pour the custard into the pastry case.
- Place a piece of cling wrap directly on the surface of the custard (to prevent it from forming a skin) and place in the fridge.
- Refrigerate for 2-3 hours until the custard is set and chilled through.
- When you are ready to serve, whip the cream with the sugar until soft peaks form.
- Top the pie with the sliced bananas and add the cream. Finish with chocolate shavings and serve.