Yesterday I competed in a friendly pie making competition with a few of my friends. One of our tasks was to make a banana cream pie, which I’ve never made. I’ve always loved the banana cream pie at the LA restaurant Bandera, because it has the perfect balance of fresh bananas, custard, whipped cream, caramel, and chocolate. I tried to create a pie that was similar to this, which surprisingly ended up winning the pie off!
Although there are several steps for this recipe, it actually is much easier than it looks. However, there are several parts that require a cool down to set, so make sure you start the process several hours before you will need to serve.
Crust: For the crust, I followed the Williams Sonoma Basic Pie Dough recipe. It’s a simple recipe that doesn’t require a mixer. Note that on the last section of the mixture, it takes awhile for the dough to form after pouring the cold water so be patient (as I learned to be). Follow the steps until you have your pie dough rolled out into the pan.At this point, wrap the crust and place into the freezer.
Caramel: I followed my own recipe from my salted caramel cheesecake recipe. You only need about 1/4 of the caramel.
Custard and Whipped Cream: I followed the Williams-Sonoma Banana Cream Pie recipe (what can I say, Williams-Sonoma recipes have always been good to me). Note that the ingredients listed are not split up between the custard and whipped cream, so be careful to not mix up the amounts of sugar (which are listed twice). The custard requires 2/3 cup of sugar, while the whipped cream only requires 2 tablespoons.
I followed both recipes exactly. I hadn’t ever worked with a vanilla bean before. Be very delicate with this step as you’ll see that the seeds will quickly be everywhere but in your mixture. Definitely do add the pod itself, as this will add a lot more flavor to the custard. After you place the custard into the bowl to set, you can start on the whipped cream. Ideally, you have a mixer to expedite the process. Otherwise, you’ll be like me and mixing for a good 30 minutes. Be patient, the whipped cream will form (eventually). At this point, you’re done with all the components and waiting for everything to chill in your refrigerator (for at least 1 hour).
Putting the pie together:
1. Bake the crust following the Williams-Sonoma Banana Cream Pie recipe.
2. Once the pie crust is cooled down completely (about 1 hour), pour a thick layer of the caramel sauce on the crust. 3. Slice 2 ripe bananas and place the slices on top of the caramel.
4. Add the custard over the banana slices.5. Cover the filling and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
6. Pour the whipped cream on top of the chilled filling.
7. Shave some semi-sweet chocolate and sprinkle on the top of the pie. Refrigerate the pie until it’s ready to serve.