My fondest memories of eating at the lunch counter at Woolworth’s were the individually wrapped slices of pie displayed in a dome covered cake stand on the counter. If I finished my grilled cheese and tomato sandwich, my grandmother would spring for a piece of pie. Actually, that’s not entirely true – she’d let me have the pie regardless – because that’s how Nana rolled! It got me thinking about diners and classic diner desserts like strawberry shortcake, cubed jello in a parfait glass topped with whipped cream, blueberry pie, tapioca pudding, and banana cream pie. Banana cream pie. There was no reason to make it. It wasn’t a holiday, and no one was coming over for dinner – still, I couldn’t get it out of my head. Then it occurred to me – my son has never had banana cream pie. * clutches pearls * Well, that settled it – I was a mom on a mission!
For the crust:
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
- 2 tablespoons shortening, chilled
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
1. Mix flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add butter and shortening to the flour mixture, and cut until the mix resembles large peas. Add the ice water and mix with your hands until the dough comes together. Form into a ball, flatten into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
2. Roll out dough to 1/8″ thickness on a well floured surface. Ease dough into pie plate, crimp the edges, and chill for 15 minutes. This will help the dough from shrinking.
3. Preheat oven to 425º, remove dough from fridge, and prick the bottom on the crust with a fork. Line the pie with parchment or foil, and fill with pie weight or beans to hold the crust in place. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the pie weights, and parchment/foil.
4. Lower the temperature to 375º, place crust back in the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove and cool completely before filling.
For the Filling:
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large bananas, sliced
1. Mix sugar, salt, cornstarch, and flour in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in milk. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Let it boil for a minute, stirring constantly so that it doesn’t burn, then remove from heat.
2. Place beaten egg yolks in a bowl. Slowly whisk half of the hot flour/milk mixture into the egg yolks, then add the contents of the bowl back into the saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly for another minute and remove from heat. Add the butter and vanilla and mix until well combined. Set aside to cool.
3. Slice bananas, and line the pie shell with half of the bananas. Spread half of the custard over them, add remaining banana slices, and top with remaining custard. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours to allow the custard to set up.
For the Whipped Cream:
- 8 ounces of heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1. Place bowl and beaters in the refrigerator to chill
2. Put the whipping cream, vanilla and sugar in chilled bowl, and beat until stiff peaks appear.
3. Spread whipped cream on top of cooled pie with a spatula or pipe with a pastry bag. Keep pie refrigerated.