Friday, September 19, 2008

The Ultimate Banana Cream Pie

As my Boyfriend was approaching his 30th birthday, he mentioned that in lieu of a birthday cake, he would love a Banana Cream Pie. I of course, would happily oblige! Then the slight panic sets in, as I have never made a Banana Cream Pie that I have been truly in love with. They are all good after all (how can it not be?) but not the right balance of flavors and textures that I like to have.

Cream Pies are awesome- they are mostly unheard of in Australia, but my American Born mother would indulge us once or twice a year with one… chocolate, Coconut or Banana…
It was always done from scratch, with a great flaky pie crust, vanilla custard layered with fresh slices of banana, and slathered with a slightly sweetened vanilla whipped cream. They were divine, but I wanted to up the ante!
Marc prefers a graham cracker crust to the pastry crust (ugh- it should be relegated to cheesecakes and key lime pie’s, but it’s his birthday not mine…) so I have a flashback to a delightful dinner at the Bally’s Steakhouse in Vegas, where they serve their Banana Cream Pie in a Crunchy Pecan Crust. Everyone at the table that night LOVED it, so I thought I should give it a shot. I decided a mixture of pecans, Nilla Wafers, sugar and melted butter would do the trick, and boy, was I right. I hate to gloat, but *seriously people*, it was awesome. It was crisp and flavorful; I am already having dreams about a macadamia crust with Coconut Cream Pie, and Hazelnut Crust with a Chocolate Cream Pie… I may never go back to ordinary pie dough………..
As for the filling; while the idea of vanilla custard with bananas sandwiched in between is fine, I wanted actual banana flavored custard, and Gale Gand has just the one.
Top the whole pie off with rum spiked vanilla whipped cream and you have a damn great pie.
The pictures really don’t do it justice (I am still learning about food photography…) but when I served each slice I topped them off with slices of banana to finish the dream!!
HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY MARC!

The Cooked Crust

Keep in mind that my crust recipe is an approximation. I made it up as I went along. If your crust seems too dry, add more melted butter, or if it seems to wet, add more crushed Nilla wafers and pecans. The sugar, I have realized is not necessary, as the nilla wafers are sweet enough, but it worked for me!

The Banana Pudding

The Finshed Pie

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