Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

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My dad has always been a banana lover. He loves everything from banana desserts to banana breads, and all the weird combos in between… like peanut butter and banana sandwiches (seriously, he swears by those things). So when I decided I wanted to try making a banana cream pie with a twist, I knew exactly who to consult! The result: a delicious creamy, chocolately banana dessert, Pappo approved!

Chocolate Banana Cream Pie
Yields one 9″ pie

For the crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 stick (113 grams) melted butter

For the vanilla cream pudding:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 tbsp. butter

For the chocolate pudding:
1 cup milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. all purpose flour
3/4 cup (120 grams) chocolate chips

1 banana, sliced

Optional whipped cream garnish:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar

As with most pudding filled desserts, this pie will take several hours of preparation, although I personally like to let it setup over night (mostly if I can manage to fend my husband off for that long). This pie starts with a simple graham cracker crust. To begin, preheat your oven to 475* Fahrenheit (246* Celsius). Using a rolling pin or a food processor, crush your graham crackers (you can also use other hard, small cookies like Nilla wafers) and stir them together with the melted butter and sugar called for in the crust recipe above. Press the mixture into a 9″ diameter pie pan, making sure to press some up along the sides as well. Bake the crust for 5-6 minutes, until it’s just beginning to brown. Remove it from the oven and set it aside to cool.

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While the crust is cooling, you can mix up your pudding fillings. Both the chocolate and vanilla cream puddings are made the same way with just two variations: the vanilla cream pudding calls for vanilla extract and butter, and the chocolate pudding has chocolate stirred in at the very end. To make both puddings, begin by combining the milk/cream and sugar in a medium sized pan over low-medium heat (for the vanilla pudding, you’ll want to add the vanilla extract at this point). In a medium size bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and all purpose flour until all lumps are dissolved. Bring the milk/cream mixture to a near boil, and then pour it directly into the bowl with the yolk mixture. Stir for a few seconds before returning the whole mixture to the pan, and setting it back over low-medium heat. Bring the mixture back to a near boil, stirring continuously until it thickens to a pudding consistency (about 5-8 minutes). Remove the pudding mixture from the heat. For the vanilla pudding, cube the butter and stir it in until it is completely dissolved. For the chocolate pudding, add small chunks of chocolate or chocolates chips to the hot pudding, stirring until the chocolate completely dissolves. Transfer each pudding to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap pressed against the surface of the pudding (this will prevent a skin from forming) and set it aside in the refrigerator to cool and firm, about an hour or so.

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To assemble the pie, cover the base of the cooled crust with slices of banana. Pour the chocolate pudding over the banana, and smooth until the bananas are just barely covered. Follow with the vanilla pudding, gently pouring it over the chocolate so it stays just on the surface. Spread the vanilla pudding until it completely covers the chocolate. Set in the refrigerator for an additional hour or two, until the pudding has completely set. To add an optional whipped cream garnish (my Pappo says it’s not complete without this step), whip the heavy cream and vanilla extract on high until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks have form. Pipe or spread onto each pie piece and enjoy!

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Happy baking!

Sources:
Pudding recipes adapted from Martha Stewart

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