This pie is a traditional banana cream pie that has been kitted out with a chocolate cookie crust, ganache, cinnamon pastry cream, bananas, and whipped cream.
Banana cream pie, the old-fashioned favorite, gets a new twist when paired with two of banana’s best flavor companions: chocolate and cinnamon. Chocolate, in the form of a thin layer of ganache spread over the crust, forms a barrier against the moist filling, keeping the chocolate crust crisp for days longer than usual. Here’s a trick to prevent the bananas from browning: As soon as the bananas are sliced, stir them into the pastry cream, which will seal the surface of the bananas and keep them fresh-looking for days.–Sur La Table and Cindy Mushet
Chocolate Banana Cream Pie
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 1 H, 35 M
- Makes one (9-inch) pie
- For the chocolate cookie pie crust
- 1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) finely ground chocolate cookie crumbs
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
- For the cinnamon pastry cream
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- For the banana cream pie
- 1 Chocolate Cookie Pie Crust
- 1 recipe Cinnamon Pastry Cream
- 1 1/2 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (up to 60 percent cacao)
- 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) plus 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) heavy cream
- 3 large (1 1/2 pounds) firm-ripe bananas
- 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Chocolate curls or additional chocolate cookie crumbs, for garnish
- Make the chocolate cookie pie crust
- 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and position an oven rack in the center. Put the chocolate cookie crumbs and the sugar in a medium bowl and stir well with a spatula to blend. Add the melted butter and stir until all the crumbs are evenly moistened. Transfer the buttered crumbs to the pie pan.
- 2. With the heel of your hand, a tart tamper, or the bottom of a drinking glass, press the crumbs from the center outward into an even layer across the bottom of the pan. Use your thumbs to press the crumbs up the side of the pan and level them at the rim.
- 3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly colored and fragrant. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- Make the pastry cream
- 4. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice and water and set it aside. Pour the milk into a medium saucepan.
- 5. Heat the milk to just below the boiling point and remove from the heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks, sugar, and cinnamon until well blended and smooth. Add the flour and whisk vigorously until the mixture is very smooth. Pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to temper the yolks. Slowly pour the yolk mixture back into the hot milk, whisking all the while.
- 6. Heat the mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the flour from lumping, until it reaches a boil. Continue to cook and whisk for another minute, until the pastry cream is very thick. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Strain the pastry cream through the strainer set over a medium bowl to remove any lumps or tiny bits of egg.
- 7. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream, then set the bowl into the bowl of ice water. Once the pastry cream has completely cooled, use or store in the refrigerator until needed.
- Make the banana cream pie
- 8. Place the chocolate and 1 tablespoon cream in the microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir to blend. If there are any lumps, heat for 15 to 20 seconds longer and stir again. Pour the chocolate into the cooled pie shell and use the offset spatula or back of a spoon to spread in a thin layer across the bottom of the shell and as far up the sides as it will go. Chill for 10 minutes to set the ganache.
- 9. Use a paring knife to cut the bananas into ¼-inch-thick slices and gently stir into the chilled pastry cream until they are completely coated. Scrape the filling into the prepared pie crust and spread evenly to the edge. Chill while you make the topping.
- 10. Place the 1 1/4 cups cream, the sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of the stand mixer and whip on medium speed until soft peaks form. You can also use a hand mixer and a medium bowl. Scrape the topping onto the banana filling and use the cleaned offset spatula or the back of a spoon to spread it evenly all the way to the edge. The filling should be completely covered. Alternatively, use a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch star tip to decoratively pipe the topping (but increase the cream by 1/2 cup, as piping requires a little extra cream). Sprinkle with cookie crumbs or chocolate curls. Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.
- The banana cream pie crust may be prepared up to 1 week in advance, wrapped tightly in plastic, and stored at room temperature. If the crust softens as it sits, re-crisp in a 350°F oven for 6 to 8 minutes. The pastry cream (without bananas) may be prepared up to 2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Recipe Testers Reviews
This pie garnered rave reviews at a potluck—even if it did look a little homely. My whipped cream layer wasn’t as full as the one in the picture, but it was enough to balance out the filling. The crust and banana cream layer were cinches to make. In fact, the entire recipe didn’t take long, especially since you can start the pastry cream while the crust is baking. If you’ve never made pastry cream before, have no fear—the steps in the recipe outline the process simply and neatly. Next time, I’d probably double the amount of chocolate ganache, as well as make some extra whipped cream to top the pie.