Carmelized Banana Creme Pie

Let me tell you, you only make this pie for someone you really love. It’s not quick, but it is delicious. It’s really good if you can find chocolate wafer cookies, but if not, I’ve also used ginger and almond cookies. You could use graham crackers in a pinch (maybe chocolate ones?). I made this pie the first time for my college friend, Colleen, and her then boyfriend, Edmond, when they came for dinner. I’m glad I did, because it is one of my favorite deserts ever.

Caramelized Banana Cream Pie

Chocolate Crust
2 ½ cups chocolate or other flavor cookie crumbs
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon
5 T. unsalted butter

¼ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground ginger
½ t. allspice
4 bananas, peeled and sliced

Pastry Cream
3 cups half-and-half
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
8 egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup dark rum
3 T. cornstarch

1 cup heavy whipping cream
Sprigs of mint

To prepare crust, butter a 10-inch springform pan. In a bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon, then stir in butter. Press into prepared pan, and chill in the refrigerator.

To prepare the filling, put the butter and brown sugar in a pan over high heat and heat until bubbling, about 2 minutes. Add cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and bananas. Sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Spoon the bananas evenly over the crust. Set aside.

To prepare the pastry cream, put the half-and-half in a saucepan with the vanilla bean, and bring to a boil. Remove and discard the vanilla bean. Put egg yolks, sugar, dark rum, and cornstarch in a bowl and whisk together. Whisk about 1 cup of half-and-half mixture into egg mixture to temper it. Then add the egg mixture to the remaining half-and-half and place over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thick, 3-5 minutes. Pour mixture over bananas in the crust and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours until chilled.

Whip the cream to soft peaks. Serve pie with whipped cream and mint leaves.

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