Treat your Valentine to a very special pie this year. A thick, ruffled pastry surrounds the vanilla wafer bottom crust topped with velvety banana cream filling. Add whipped cream, a few pastry decorations, or even a drizzle of chocolate sauce to take this dessert to the next level.
You don’t have to have a pie-shaped pan (though this might be a good excuse to splurge on one), but you do need a deep-dish pie pan because this makes a generous amount of filling. It might be a good idea to be prepared with a few cupcake liners in case you have extra filling. Just layer a spoonful of cookie crust, a few banana slices, and a dollop of filling and put the mini desserts in the freezer for another time.
And . . . speaking of freezers, if you want neat, tidy slices of banana cream pie, I recommend freezing the pie and cutting it frozen. Add the little decorations and fresh banana slices before serving. If you’re using fresh whipped cream, add it after the frozen pie has been cut. If you’re using topping in a tub, it can be added before freezing.
ONLY cut as many pieces as you need, and return the remaining pie to the freezer immediately, because once it’s frozen it won’t look pretty when you take it out of the fridge the next day.
You don’t have to freeze it, of course, but a cream pie is, by nature, soft . . . and it can get a little messy when serving. If you’re more about eating it than taking photos of it, then this won’t bother you one bit. And oh, my is it creamy. Mmmm.
I just have to tell you, as much as I love the soft, creamy pie, I really can’t resist it when it’s frozen. I may have added a little chocolate sauce, some peanuts, and a cherry to create my own “banana split pie”. The frozen filling is just like rich ice cream.
|Ruffles & Roses Banana Cream Pie|| |
- PASTRY CRUST:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shortening, chilled
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon vodka (or vinegar, if you prefer)
- COOKIE CRUST:
- 1 cup finely crushed vanilla wafers
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 eggs, plus 2 yolks
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1½ cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 4 large firm bananas (save one for garnish)
- Whipped cream (or topping in a tub), banana slices, sprinkles, pastry garnishes, chocolate drizzle for decorating if desired
- In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Work the cold shortening into flour until the size of peas.
- Combine the milk and vodka (or vinegar) and drizzle into flour mixture, tossing with a fork. Stir gently until it comes together.
- Working with half of the dough at a time, place between lightly floured pieces of parchment and roll until about ⅛-inch thick. Cut strips wide enough to reach from the bottom edge of your pie pan to about ½ inch over the top. Cut strips into manageable lengths (for me, this was about 6 -7 inches long) and, one at a time, lay them loosely along the side of your pie pan, gently pleating as you go to create ruffles. Each time you use a new piece, roll the end a little and nudge it up against the piece you just added, to hide the edge. Press the dough along the bottom edge of the pie pan as you go. (The cookie crust will fill the bottom later.) Gather dough scraps and reroll all at once if needed.
- Place a piece of foil along the bottom of the pie pan and fill with pie weights or beans. Any extra scraps may be cut into hearts or shaped into roses and leaves for decoration. Place those on the crust now, using a little milk to anchor them. Press firmly. Place crust in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. (Small shapes - like hearts - can be baked on cookie sheet for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown.)
- Heat oven to 375 F.
- Place pie pan on baking sheet for easy handling, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully lift out the foil and weights.
- COOKIE CRUST: Combine crushed vanilla wafers, brown sugar, and melted butter. Put in bottom of pie pan and press down firmly, using a measuring cup or your hand. Be careful, the pan will be hot!
- Return to oven for an additional 20 minutes, or until the pie crust is golden. Cool on a rack.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the two eggs and 2 yolks and the lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a large pan, combine the sugar, salt, cornstarch, and milk. Whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture is steamy and beginning to bubble. Reduce heat to low.
- Slowly add about 1 cup of the hot mixture into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously. Pour the egg mixture back into the pan and stir well.
- Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thick and begins to make big bubbles in the center, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Pour into a heat-proof bowl and cover. Chill for 1 hour.
- Slice 3 bananas. Pour half of the cream filling into the pie pan. Cover with all of the banana slices. Top with remaining filling (as much as your pie will hold.) Chill for at least 4 hours. Top with whipped cream (or topping in a tub) and decorate if desired.
- If you want frozen banana pie (yum!) lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the filling, wrap well, and freeze. When ready to serve, cut as many pieces as you need and then return remaining pie to the freezer; it will not hold well in the refrigerator once it has been frozen. Allow the pie slices to thaw slightly, top with whipped cream, and serve.
My apologies to Dean Martin, but I’m going to change his song just a bit:
“When the moon hits your eye like a big piece of pie, that’s amore”
Nothin’ says amore like a beautiful slice of pie, right?