Banana Custard Pie w Peanut Butter Cream

Hey, you! Yes, you! Like bananas? Of course you do. Bananas are great! They’re great for cooking, that’s for sure. And not just for desserts and baked goods. You can use them for savory dishes too – soups, stews, sandwiches and snacks. Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yes, we like bananas. And have I got the pie for you.

Let me introduce you to this Banana Custard Pie a.k.a Super Banana Pie a.k.a. the Most Banana-y Banana Pie There Ever Was. No artificial banana flavoring, no gelatin – all you’ll need are five to six overripe cavendish bananas to bring out that flavor. You can easily tell when your bananas are overripe – they’ll be soft and mushy and they’re likely to have lots of black spots on the peel. They might even be mostly blackened. See what I mean about bananas being great? Just when you think they’re on the way out, you can still use them.

Extra tip: Bananas not ripe enough yet? Just put them in a paper bag. By doing so, you expose your bananas to ethylene gas, which hastens the ripening process. You can also store the bananas next to some apples, pears or tomatoes – fruits that emit ethylene gas as they ripen. Check back after a day and you should see some changes.

The peanut butter whipped cream is Phil‘s brilliant idea – and it really is brilliant. You can’t argue with that flavor combination. You should also not argue with the recipe. As you can see from the pictures, my cream didn’t quite whip up to stiff peaks. That’s because I might have put a lot more peanut butter than the cream could handle. I couldn’t quite use it to decorate the pie, but I did just slather it onto my slices and hey, that was enjoyable, too. If you’re okay with a softer cream and want the extra peanut butter taste, then add a couple of more tablespoons. But if you want the stiff peaks, follow the recipe. I made a second batch of peanut butter whipped cream following the recipe below and I got a much better consistency – but we were all too busy eating to take any more pictures. Have I mentioned how good this pie is?

For the crust:
2 cups graham cracker, crushed
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1 banana, mashed

For the filling:
5-6 bananas (slice one banana, mash the rest)
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

For the extra fun stuff:
2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup sugar free smooth/creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Make your crust. Preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF degrees. In a bowl, mix crushed graham crackers, unsweetened cocoa, sugar, mashed banana and melted unsalted butter until well blended and dry ingredients are moist. This mixture will be just a little stickier than a usual graham cracker crust mix. Press mixture onto a well greased pie pan or deep dish. Spread evenly. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until the crust becomes fragrant. Set aside.

Make your filling. Combine sugar, all-purpose flour and salt in a saucepan. Slowly add in milk while gently stirring. Cook over a medium heat and stir until the mixture starts to bubble. Reduce the heat to low and add your egg yolks. Stir for another 2 minutes until egg mixture is well incorporated. Remove the mixture from the heat. Add butter, vanilla extract and mashed bananas. Stir until well blended.

Assemble your pie. Take banana slices and arrange them into the graham cracker crust. Top with filling mixture. Bake at 180ºC/350ºF for 15-20 minutes or until pie filling is set (but still a little jiggly in the center. p.s. isn’t “jiggly” a great word?). Refrigerate for at least an hour after cooling.

Make the extra fun stuff! Combine heavy cream, sugar, peanut butter and vanilla extract in a bowl. With a hand or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip on medium low speed for about a minute. Once the peanut butter has broken up, increase the speed to medium high. Whip until the cream holds medium stiff peaks.

Enjoy your pie. Have a slice (or two) of the most banana-filled pie ever. Use as much peanut butter whipped cream as you like.

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