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Banana Cream Pie Recipe

Why It Works

  • Overlaying sliced bananas with layers of pastry cream helps stop the fruit from browning. 
  • Refrigerating the assembled pie till it’s totally chilled infuses the pastry cream with banana taste and ensures clear slices.

I’ve made and consumed plenty of pies, from lattice-topped fruit pies to baked custard pies and fruit tarts, however I’ve to confess I hadn’t made all that many banana cream pies till I made a decision to develop this recipe. Now, after consuming many, many slices of many alternative banana cream pies, I can safely conclude that life is much better with banana cream pie.

Recipes for banana cream pie first appeared within the late nineteenth century. One of many earliest iterations, which was printed in 1901 within the Woman’s Exchange Cook Book, asks the prepare dinner to fill a baked pie crust with sliced bananas and powdered sugar then switch the pie to the oven to melt the fruit. 5 years later, a recipe in The Blue Ribbon Cook Book requires a mixture of sliced bananas and vanilla custard. That model, which stays common to at the present time, is what I’ve caught to for my recipe: a buttery pie crust full of alternating layers of thinly-sliced ripe bananas and a wealthy vanilla pastry cream, and topped with sweetened whipped cream. 

For the pie crust, I caught with Stella’s extra-flaky rendition, which stays tender and crisp due to a 1:1 ratio of flour to butter. I additionally made a model with a graham cracker crust, however discovered that I a lot most popular Stella’s crust; its buttery taste is a greater match for the filling of bananas and custard. 

With the custard, I attempted variations of the pie with each pastry cream and banana pudding. My testing confirmed a transparent desire amongst tasters for the vanilla-bean infused pastry cream and its mild but wealthy taste. Whereas the creamy banana pudding was a deal with by itself, its cooked banana taste overshadowed the contemporary bananas within the pie.

Critical Eats / Amanda Suarez

For the bananas, I name for layering thinly sliced rounds each on the underside of the crust and in-between layers of pastry cream. It’s essential to slice your bananas solely once you’re able to assemble the pie to stop enzymatic browning, a sequence of chemical reactions that happens in some meals when their lower surfaces are uncovered to air. As well as, I found that tightly sandwiching them between layers of pastry cream stored any browning at bay, probably as a consequence of an absence of oxygen. Nevertheless, as soon as you chop into the pie, the bananas which are uncovered to air will start to brown. Whereas this may have an effect on their taste and texture barely, the impact is minimal, since solely a portion of the banana slice is uncovered.  

Making banana cream pie—any pie, actually—takes time. I wish to unfold the prep out over the course of a number of days. I’ll prepare dinner the pastry cream and retailer it within the fridge, make and blind bake the pie crust and maintain it at room temperature, then assemble and chill the pie. As soon as it’s able to serve, I pile on butterscotch-y brown sugar whipped cream (which can be made forward of time). In order for you, you may garnish the highest with toasted coconut, chocolate shavings, or a drizzle of caramel, any of which might be welcome additions.

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