May 24, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie

I've been slightly obsessed with banana cream pie ever since I made my first one in January. It's just so easy...and a great way to use up those bananas that are expiring on the countertop. And this filling recipe, which I adapted slightly from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook, is now my "go to" recipe.

This version was a spontaneous dessert that I concocted with ingredients I had in my pantry. I wanted a quick crust, so I used some gingersnaps to make a simple crumb crust (since I had no graham crackers). I had only very ripe bananas, so I didn't include a layer of sliced bananas. Instead, I added a layer of peanut butter. Bananas + peanut butter = YUM.

 Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie with Gingersnap Crust

For the crust:

2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup sugar
  • Combine all ingredients and press into the bottom and up the sides of 9-inch pie plate. 
  • Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven & let cool completely before filling.
For the filling:
2 very ripe bananas
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup whole milk

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks

2 gelatin sheets (or 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin)

3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter * (more if desired)
roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped, for garnish

* I used smooth peanut butter, but I think this would be more awesome with the chunky kind.
  • Combine the ripe bananas, cream, and milk in a blender & puree until totally smooth.
  • Add the sugar, cornstarch, salt, & egg yolks and blend. Pour into a medium saucepan. Clean out the blender.
  • Bloom the gelatin (see note below). 
  • Whisk the contents of the pan over medium-low heat. Bring to a boil and continue to whisk vigorously for 2 minutes. It will be very thick.
  • Pour the custard back into the blender. Add the bloomed gelatin & butter and blend until smooth and even. Transfer to a container & chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until completely cool. 
  • Whip the cream and powdered sugar to soft peaks. Add the cold banana custard to the whipped cream & slowly whisk to combine.
NOTE: To bloom sheet gelatin, soak it in a small bowl of cold water for 2 minutes. Gently squeeze to remove any excess water before using. To bloom powdered gelatin, sprinkle it evenly onto the surface of 2 tablespoons of cold water in a small dish or cup. Allow to soften for 3-5 minutes.
To finish the pie:
  • Spread the cooled pie crust with the peanut butter. Pour in the banana custard. Top with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts.
  • Chill in the refrigerator until completely set.

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