Make a Banana Cream Pie in 20 minutes! Great for cooking with kids! On Tasty Thursdays

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How to Make a Banana Cream Pie—in as Little as  20 Minutes

We nearly always have bananas around  our house.  We actually grow our own so in the season we have more than we can eat. Most of the time, they get  eaten before they are too ripe.  When  they do get too ripe, they end up in banana bread, a smoothie, or the  freezer.   (To freeze bananas, peel them  and put them in zip lock.  They’ll last  for months.) When the season is over, we buy organic bananas from the market. They don’t taste as good as ours but work certainly for this pie!

There’s  no such thing as too ripe for baking but for the perfect banana pie, you want  them ripe but still firm. Try to  catch them just before they get soft.

Today,  I’ll tell you how to make a traditional banana pie with a cooked cream filling  as well as a banana pie made with Bavarian cream.   You can make the Bavarian cream from scratch or use premade Bavarian  cream.

About the Crust

Regardless  of the pie you choose, you’ll need a premade pie crust.  I don’t remember the last time that I made a  pie crust from scratch; it’s too easy to grab a just-add-water  pie crust mix.   I can throw  it in the mixer with the water for no more than a minute and my dough is ready  to go.  The crust is every bit as good as  I can make from scratch.  I form the  crust, fill it with pie weights and  bake it for about ten minutes in a 400 degree oven.  While it’s baking, I work on the  filling.  I only let the crust cool for a  few minutes before loading in the filling. Or you can buy ready made pie crusts in the market that are really quite good.

Traditional Banana Cream Pie

premade pie crust, baked

3 small to medium-sized bananas

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoons salt

2 cups milk or light cream

4 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons butter

Directions:

  1. Place  the dry ingredients in a saucepan. Add the milk or light cream and whisk  together. Add the egg yolks and whisk those in. Kids love to do the whisking and I have a separate little whisk for each grandchild.
  2. Heat  over low heat, stirring regularly, until the mixture is thick and just begins  to bubble. Add the butter and vanilla and stir.
  3. Let  the mixture cool for fifteen minutes. Spread the banana slices evenly across  the bottom of the pie shell. The children can do this part. They could even help you pour the filling over the banana slices. Chill for  several hours. Garnish with whipped  cream.

A Banana Cream Pie Made with Bavarian Cream

You  can make a banana cream pie exactly the same way with Bavarian cream. Bavarian cream is softer, not as firm, as the  cooked filling above and so the slices are not as neat and clean. We compensate for that by adding more bananas  and interspersing the bananas with the cream—a layer of bananas, then a layer  of cream then a layer of bananas again topped with cream filling.

If  you have a really good nonstick pan,  you can slide your pie out of the pan onto a cutting board. (See the picture of the pie at the top of  this article.) It’s easier to slice and  serve a nice neat slice from a cutting board.  If you do slip your pie from the pan, first twist it just a bit to make  sure the crust isn’t sticking anywhere.

You  can make your Bavarian cream from scratch or buy premade  Bavarian cream filling.  Bavarian cream comes in two-pound plastic tubes.  Simply clip the corner and squeeze out what  you need.  Fold the corner over, put a  paper clip on it, and store the rest in the refrigerator for up to six  months.  Bavarian cream is also used as a  filling in pastries and donuts, for filling cupcakes, between cake layers, in  crepes, and in many other applications.

To make your own  Bavarian cream

1  packet unflavored gelatin, about one tablespoon

3 tablespoons milk

1/4 cup sugar

5 large egg yolks

1 1/4 cups whipped cream

1 tablespoon good quality vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups whipped cream (second measure)

  1. Place the milk in a small bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the gelatin into the milk and set aside. Children can do this part.
  3. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together. My grandkids LOVE whisking!
  4. Heat the cream until it just starts to simmer.  Do not boil.
  5. Slowly whisk the hot cream into the egg mixture to temper the eggs.
  6. Cook the mixture in a double boiler or over simmering water, stirring, until it starts to thicken and simmer.
  7. Remove the cream mixture from heat and stir in the milk and gelatin mixture.
  8. Add the vanilla. The kids can do this part.
  9. Pour the cream mixture into a bowl and  place bowl in an ice bath and stir until the mixture cools to room temperature.
  10. Whip the second measure of whipped cream. Fold in the whipped cream. Refrigerate until you are ready to use the Bavarian Cream.

Banana Cream Pie Variations

To  make a Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie,  make as above except add a layer of chocolate ganache across the bottom of the  pie crust, a chocolate layer under the banana filling. Ganache is  wonderful, all-purpose, chocolate filling that is used in pastries, cake coatings,  and as filling between cake layers.  Here’s how to make it:

Chocolate  Ganache

1  cup dark  chocolate wafers or dark chocolate chips

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons butter

Put  all three ingredients in a medium, microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave it in  30 second intervals until the chocolate is melted, stirring between  intervals.  The ganache will thicken as it cools.  You may thin it  further with additional cream. Of course the kids will be right there to lick the bowl along with you!

To  make a Chocolate Banana Cream Pie Make  your pie as above but use Chocolate  Bavarian Cream.

 

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About Grandma

I have reinvented myself many times during my life -teacher, lawyer, business woman, CEO, Entrepreneur, Board member, Professor, Mom, Wife, Farmer, Chef, Musician, Author and now my best role of all - Grandma to multiple grandchildren, grandnephews and nieces worldwide.
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