Buongiorno ragazzi! Tutto bene? How are you? Since I’ve started my Italian Home Bakery adventure, I’ve been requested to make many different Italian desserts, and that to me is absolutely as easy to satisfy as “as piece of cake” (LOL), but it has happened also that people asked me to make “crazy decorated cakes” (requested I declined because I don’t feel good enough in “crazy decorating” – LOL again), or, somebody asked me to bake some American Classic. Well, this last type of request if something I considered seriously, because I love baking, I love learning about other food cultures, and I absolutely love learning new attractive recipes.
The Banana cream Pie recipe I am sharing with you today is the result of a request I got from a customer, which – of course – is a Banana cream Pie expert (and addicted) and according to whom (now I am bragging), my Banana cream Pie is the “best he ever had”. How did I find this recipe? I researched online different banana cream pie recipes and picked the one more attractive to me (from the blog “The taste of Home“), and then, I personalized it a bit with my “Italian experience and background“. For those who are not familiar with this pie it will be enough to know that Is a pastry crust filled with fresh bananas and custard, and abundantly covered in heavy whipped cream.
Before starting, I warn you that making the custard is a bit tricky and if you don’t follow religiously the directions, it will turn out watery or bad tasting. Also, the recipe for the home made short crust pastry that follows is Italian and is the one I usually prepare for other fruit pastry pies.
INGREDIENTS FOR A 9” ROUND PAN
for the custard – per la creama
2 large beaten eggs – 2 uova grandi sbattute
1/4 cup corn starch – 30 gr. amido di mais
1 cup granulated sugar – 200 gr. zucchero
3 cups milk – 750 gr. latte intero
3 tbs. unsalted butter – 40 gr. burro non salato
sea salt – sale
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract – 1 cucchiaino e mezzo aroma alla vaniglia
2-3 large firm bananas – 2-3 banana sode
for the short crust pastry – per la crostata
2 yolks – tuorli
unsalted butter – 150 gr. burro freddo
all purpose flour – 250 gr. farina 00
granulated sugar – 100 gr. zucchero a velo
vanilla extract – aroma alla vaniglia
Heavy whipping cream to taste
Optional: some crumbled Amaretti cookies (Italian variation)
Since custard and crust will need time to chill in the refrigerator at first, and to cool off after the cooking/baking, the more efficient method to prepare this cake should be: prepare the crust pie dough and let it chill in the refrigerator, in the mean time prepare the custard and while the custard cools off, cook the pie crust.
THE CRUST: In a food processor combine flour, sugar, vanilla extract and cold butter cubes and mix until crumbly. Then add the yolks and keep mixing until yolks are absorbed. Move the dough to a clean surface, give it a rectangular shape, cover in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes (the time you’ll need to prepare the custard).
THE CUSTARD: In a large sauce pan combine sugar, corn starch, salt and milk. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until bubbly and thickened. Reduce heat and cook for 2 more minutes and keep stirring.
Remove from heat, take about 1 cup of hot filling into the beaten eggs and stir very well. Return to the pan and bring all together to a gentle boil. Cook for 2 minutes stirring.
Remove the cream from the heat. Stir inn butter and vanilla flavor until completely dissolved. Press plastic wrap onto surface and refrigerate at least 30 minutes (the time you’ll need to bake the crust ).
BACK TO THE CRUST: roll out the dough in a clean surface and then into a 9” pie pan. Apply some holes with the tip of a fork and bake “blind” (loosely covered with parchment and filled with baking beans) at 340 F. (170 C.) for 15 minutes, and then another 15 minutes without anything on top. Let the crust cooling off.
Once the crust is cooled, arrange a layer of banana’s slices, than half of the cold custard, than another layer of banana’s slices and the rest of the custard.
LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!
Tips: I have to confess, before tasting this pie I was very skeptical about it. The idea of bananas in a short crust didn’t appeal me that much. It took me just one bite, to change completely my mind!
– if you are afraid the bananas on top of the cake my turn dark, brush them with some lemon juice;
– Just for your info, this custard recipe is Gluten Free… you can eat it also like that, and it’s absolutely delicious anyway.
– The only way to make custard I knew before trying this pie was the “Italian custard” (crema pasticcera). The two fillings have a similar way to be prepared but the first tastes more as a pudding when the second, instead, is more like a cream and it’s definitely not gluten free.
– I am almost ashamed to admit it, considering all the scrumptious desserts we have in Italy, but this Banana Cream Pie has become my new favorite, or, at least, ONE of MY FAVORITES.
– So, last tip, give this recipe a try. It’s really worth it!
Do you like banana cream pie? which one is your favorite?
I dare you: try this recipe, and It will became your favorite!
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my ITALIAN desserts are available upon orders in the QUAD CITIES AREA.
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