you can never eat too much

Banana Cream Pie w/ Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crust

Anyone else missing summer just a little bit? No? Just me?

Over the course of just two days the weather in L.A. has shifted drastically from summer heat to winter cold, without the polite fall transition in between. The change was unexpected and not something I was at all prepared for, and in typical L.A. fashion, I’m going to complain about the fact that the temperature has had the audacity to dip below 70 degrees.

Ok, got that off my chest.

This banana cream pie was born out of a hankering for something cool and summery. I can’t help the fact that I crave cold desserts in the winter time no more than I can help eating chocolate for every meal of every day. It’s just the way I’m wired, you know? But this banana cream pie is so, so good because the filling is made from scratch. You create the filling using half-and-half that’s been steeped in sliced bananas for 24 hours to create that sweet banana flavor that just punches you in the mouth on the first bite.

But I will admit that my favorite part of any pie (or cheesecake for that matter) is the graham cracker crust. I take my graham cracker crust very seriously. That’s why I love the recipe for this crust, because it includes ground cinnamon for a lightly sweet, warm fall flavor. I could seriously eat this crust by itself, but it’s even better when paired with the banana filling 🙂

The source of this recipe is The Sprinkles Baking Book, which I think is the first book I ever pre-ordered. Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with Sprinkles Cupcakes, and would literally scrub pots for Candace Nelson if it meant she would make me Salted Caramel cupcakes for the rest of my life. All of the recipes in this cookbook have been a home run, and I’ve had a lot of fun baking up a storm.

I would say that this banana cream pie recipe is better than your grandma’s but I want to stay on her good side so that she’ll invite me over for supper next Sunday. So I’ll just say that you have to make this recipe because it’s easy, nostalgic, and perfectly satisfying.

‘The Sprinkles Baking Book’ Banana Cream Pie Recipe

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Ingredients

For Graham Crust:

  • 10 whole graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tbs melted butter

For Banana Filling:

  • 5 ripe bananas
  • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tbs cornstarch
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • whipped cream (for topping)

Instructions

Prepare Graham Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, grind together the graham crackers, sugar, and cinnamon until fine crumbs form. Pour mixture into a bowl and add melted butter. Stir until evenly coated.
  3. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan and bake for 8-9 minutes, until dry. Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool completely.

Make The Filling

  1. Peel and slice two fo the bananas into 1/4-inch rounds and place in heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the half-and-half and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and cool for 30 minutes.
  2. Cover and chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours (the longer, the more banana flavor)! Strain into a bowl and discard the bananas.
  3. In a medium saucepan, off the heat, whisk together the sugar, egg solks, and salt until smooth, then add cornstarch. Add the banana-infused half-and-half, whisking briskly. Cook over medium heat for 6-7 minutes, til the mixture is bubbling but not fully set. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and butter.
  4. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, push the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and cool, stirring every few minutes to release heat, until warm, about 10-15 minutes.

Fill And Top Pie

  1. Slice the remaining three bananas into 1/4-inch rounds and toss with lemon juice. Pour a little less than half of the warm filling into the prepared crust , then arrange two-thirds of the sliced bananas on top of the filling. Top with remaining custard, then the sliced bananas. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly against the surface of the pie, and refrigerate until set, 4-5 hours. Remove from refrigerator and remove plastic wrap when ready. Top with whipped cream and serve.



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