If you love banana cream pie, this is the only recipe you will ever need - luxurious pastry cream surrounds sliced bananas and lathered in freshly whipped cream. The filling’s banana flavor in heightened by infusing the pastry cream with sautéed bananas. I prefer the taste of a homemade flaky butter crust, but you can use a ready-made pie crust, or graham cracker crust. Cook’s Country developed this recipe back in 2012 and I’ve yet to find one that beats it. They included some helpful notes with the original recipe: Use all-yellow to lightly spotted, not green-topped or all-brown bananas for this recipe. Peel and slice the bananas just before using to help prevent browning. When straining the half-and-half in step 2, do not press on the bananas or the custard will turn gray as it sits. The pie can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Because the mixture in step 3 is very thick, the temperature varies a bit from place to place in the pot; be sure to check the temperature in various locations before removing the pot from heat.
5 ripe bananas (see note above)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided)
2 ½ cups half-and-half
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 9” prebaked pie shell, or graham cracker crust
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- Peel 2 bananas and slice into ½-inch-thick pieces. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sliced bananas and cook until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add half-and-half, bring to boil, and boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 40 minutes.
- Whisk granulated sugar, egg yolks, and salt together in large bowl until smooth. Whisk in cornstarch. Strain cooled half-and-half mixture through fine-mesh strainer into yolk mixture—do not press on bananas—and whisk until incorporated; discard cooked bananas.
- Transfer mixture to clean medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and registering 180 to 185 degrees, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat; whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Transfer pastry cream to bowl, press greased parchment paper directly against surface, and let cool for about 1 hour.
- Peel and slice remaining 3 bananas ¼ inch thick and toss with orange juice. Whisk pastry cream briefly, then spread half over bottom of cooled pie shell. Arrange sliced bananas on pastry cream. Top with remaining pastry cream.
- Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip cream, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes. Spread whipped cream evenly over top of pie. Refrigerate until set, at least 5 hours and up to 24 hours. Serve.