Cream pies – so many levels of delicious. On a number of occasions I have done at-home bake sales to help someone or some cause raise money. It’s win-win for me. I get to bake, someone else gets to eat it, and someone/something else benefits from the proceeds. Really, that’s like a win-win-win!
I like to have a standard list of options – cookies, cakes, cupcakes, pies – but like to give people the freedom to ask for what they really want. It is so satisfying to send out something you’ve made, and get rave reviews the next time you see the lucky person who consumed your goods. I think some of the best reviews I got involved pie. And one of my favorite that went out – banana cream pie.
Banana Cream Pie
2 c vanilla wafer cookies
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c melted butter
2 cups 2% milk
1/3 c cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
3 egg yolks
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas
1 c heavy cream
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Start with your crust by preheating the oven to 325°F. Combine cookies and sugar in a food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs. You could also do this with a rolling pin, but it takes a little longer. Pour the melted butter over the crumbs and either stir with a fork or pulse a few times in your food processor. Press the wet crumbs into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom or a pie plate will work just as well. Bake for 8 minutes, and cool completely on a wire rack.
Making the filling is very simple. I will admit that you can totally bypass all of this and go out and purchase a package of vanilla pudding, but if you’re feeling adventurous why not give this easy recipe a shot? Place the milk, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla in a saucepan. Whisk everything together over medium-low heat. Keep whisking for about 10-15 minutes while your pudding thickens up. Don’t stray to far from the stove as this goes from very liquidy to very thick quite quickly. Once the pudding is finished transfer it into another bowl, cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the pudding, and place in the fridge. If you notice that your pudding has some lumps in it just push it through a mesh strainer before it goes into the fridge. Chill until completely cooled.
Once everything has cooled off sufficiently layer half of your vanilla pudding into your crust. Next slice up your bananas and arrange on top of your first layer. Finish with the last of your pudding and voila – almost done!
Whipped cream is another ingredient that you could totally buy at the store, but it’s so easy to make at home. Place your cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a bowl together, and start whipping. Yes, you could do this by hand, but most of us find that an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer gets the job done much faster with much less elbow soreness. Whip until you have stiff peaks and top your pie as you see fit.
Garnish with a few more vanilla wafer cookies, or maybe even some banana slices. Go to town! If you’re sending this out to someone else be prepared for some stellar reviews. If you’re lucky enough to be enjoying this delicious pie with a few of your favorite people then do just that – Enjoy!