banana cream pie- {bwd}

With most sweet foods falling in his "take it or leave it" category, The Husband has a short list of desserts that he actually looks forward to eating. Banana Cream Pie is one of them. So when my turn came around to choose the Baking with Dorie recipe, I knew exactly which one to pick.

As usual, the pie crust presented issues for me. That said, I liked the texture (more short than flaky, and it remained crispy after two days in the refrigerator) and will definitely use it again.

Dorie's recipe has three tiny changes to the usual banana cream pie recipe: brown sugar instead of white in the pastry cream, and a smidgen of spice and and sour cream in the topping.  I agree with her assessment that with the changes, "the time-treasured pie went from great to SUBLIME."

You can find the other Dorie bakers' sublime pies here.

from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

For the custard:
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
½ cup (packed) light brown sugar, pressed through a sieve
⅓ cup cornstarch, sifted
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄₈ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

3 ripe but firm bananas

1 9-inch Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough—single crust (recipe at the bottom)

For the topping:
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sour cream

To make the custard:
Bring the milk to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well blended and thick.  Whisking without stopping, drizzle in about ¼ cup of the hot milk— this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won't curdle—then, still whisking, add the the remainder of the milk in a steady stream.  Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking constantly (make sure to get into the edges of the pan), bring the mixture to a boil.  Boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes before removing from the heat.

Whisk in the vanilla.  Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter; stirring until they are fully incorporated and the custard is smooth and silky.  You can either press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the custard to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the custard until cold or, if you want to cool the custard quickly, put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and stir occasionally until the custard is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes. (The custard can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.)

When you are ready to assemble the pie, peel the bananas and cut them on a shallow diagonal into ¼-inch thick slices.

Whisk the cold custard vigorously to loose it, and spread about ¼ of it over the bottom of the piecrust— it will be a think layer.  Top with half of the banana slices.  Repeat, adding a think layer of pastry cream and the remaining bananas, then smooth the rest of the pastry cream over the last layer of bananas.

To make the topping:
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream until it just starts to thicken.  Beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until the cream holds firm peaks.  Switch to a rubber spatula and gently fold in the sour cream.

To finish:
Spoon the whipped cream over the filling and spread it evenly to the edges of the custard.  Serve, or refrigerate until needed.

Good For Almost Everything Pie Dough

For a 9-inch Single Crust
1½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1¼ sticks (10 tablespoons) very cold (frozen preferably) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
2½ tablespoons very cold (frozen, please!) vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces
about ¼ cup ice water

Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine the ingredients.  Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour.  Don't overdo the mixing—what you're aiming for is to have some pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley.  Pulsing the machine on and off, gradually add about 3 tablespoons of the water— add a little water and pulse once, add some more water, pulse again and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour.  If, after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn't look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched.  Big pieces of butter are fine. Scrape the dough out of the work bowl and onto a work surface.

To roll out the dough:
Have a buttered 9-inch pie plate at hand.

You can roll the dough out on a floured surface or between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap.  If you're working on a counter, turn the dough over frequently and keep the counter floured.  If you are rolling between paper or plastic, make sure to turn the dough over often and to lift the paper or plastic frequently so that it doesn't roll into the dough and form creases.
If you've got time, slide the rolled-out dough into the fridge for about 20 minutes to rest and firm up.

Fit the dough into the pie plate and, using a pair of scissors, cut the excess dough to a ¼-to ½-inch overhang.  Fold the dough under itself, so that it hangs over the edge just a tad, and flute or pinch the crust to make a decorative edge.  Alternatively, you can finish the crust by pressing it with the tines of a fork.

To bake a single crust:
Refrigerate the crust while you preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil, fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust and fill with dried beans or rice or pie weights.  Put the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes.  Carefully remove the foil and weights and, if the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon.  Return the pie plate to the oven and bake until golden brown, about another 10 minutes.  Transfer the pie plate to a rack and cool to room temperature before filling.


  1. The pie crust is actually fantastic & very easy to make but even though we've made it several times for BWD - even I messed it up today. That said, this pie really is sublime and I'm so happy that you chose this recipe for the challenge this week. I really, really loved the custard filling for this pie :)

  2. You certainly picked a winner. I still have not been able to make it with the holidays and school starting. I am hoping today is the day. If not, this is going to have to wait to be a rewind.

    I am sorry. I wanted to bake with you. I will try to still make it happen.

    You did a beautiful job of making what sounds like the most yummy pie.

  3. Your photo is amazing! Thanks for a great pick!

  4. Ha! I just wrote that my hubby doesn't like Banana Cream pie! :-)

    I do love it and thought this pie was a winner! Thanks for picking it!

    Your fluffy filling makes me wish I'd whipped up some cream, too. But we were having garlic cream sauce tonight for dinner and I thought it would be too much!

  5. Fantastic pick! I also had issues with the pie crust. The hubby and I really enjoyed this!


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