Banana Cream Pie

Lately, I've been embracing the soulfulness and comfort of southern food. Due to Northeast migration, Florida sometimes feels like it is an extension of that region, but when it comes down to it - you can't get more south than the Sunshine State. The rest of this meal consisted of slow-cooked pulled chicken turned into individual chicken pot pies, fried sweet potato fritters topped with goat cheese, and a chunk of rosemary cornbread. I have never enjoyed or created banana cream pie before, but it seemed like the perfect end note to a southern-style meal and I thought I would give it a try. I was surprised to find out that the custard isn't actually banana flavored - it is simply thick and rich vanilla. Since I love bananas, I made sure to do put a layer of slices beneath the custard as well as above. Finishing touches included dollops of vanilla butter cream frosting and contrasting sprinkles of cinnamon. What is great about making this pie is that you can put all the odds and ends into a container and make banana cream pudding!

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie
Adapted from: La Fuji Mama

For the Nilla Wafer crust:
2 2/3 cups vanilla wafer cookies
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled

For the Vanilla Custard:
1 2/3 cups water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 can (14-ounces) sweetened condensed milk
3 large egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Also, 3 large and ripe bananas

Make the Crust: 
-Preheat oven to 350F.
-Crush the wafer cookies in a ziplock bag with a heavy object OR in a food processor until the texture of coarse sand.
-Add in sugar, vanilla extract and melted butter and combine until a mixture forms resembling wet sand.
-Pour into a 9-inch pie plate (or 9-inch square baking dish, or a tart pan, or a spring-form pan) and gently spread into an even layer over the bottom and sides.
-Press crumbs in firmly to create a tight crust.
-Bake for 12-15 minutes, until crust just begins to turn golden brown around the edges.
-Cool completely before moving on to the next step

For the Vanilla Custard:
-Put the water into a heavy saucepan. Add the cornstarch and stir until it has completely dissolved.
-Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks.
-Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens and is bubbly. It will seem like nothing is happening and then after a few minutes it will happen pretty quickly so keep your eye on it!
-Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract until everything is mixed together and set aside to cool slightly.

Assemble the Pie:
-After crust as cooled, cover the bottom with sliced banana.
-Pour the custard over the banana slices.
-Cover the pie and refrigerate for 4 hours or until set.
-When custard has set, top with more banana slices, whipped cream, cinnamon, chocolate shavings, vanilla butter cream frosting, etc! Make it your own!

Banana Cream Pie