I have a problem, a vice, a dirty little secret. My name is Mary, and I am addicted to Trader Joe’s. We live within walking distance, which is my first priority when house hunting. It is so bad, when Casey recently missed placed a shoe, I went to our Trader Joe’s to look for it. It was not there, but I couldn’t resist picking up some lovely berries, whipping cream and a potted parsley plant. When checking out, my checker said, “See you tomorrow.” And, I’m sure he did.
In the fall, we discovered Trader Joe’s vanilla wafers. If you have not had them, go now. They are little bits of intensely buttery vanilla paradise, and not at all a little plain Jane wafer. It was such a good cookie, I had to make apie out of it. If you do not have access to Trader Joe’s, and moving is out of the question, you can use any vanilla wafers for this recipe.
I tried to make this pie last year, and my custard was soup. It was delicious, but far from appetizing. This custard is much more reliable. It is from the Frannie Farmer Cookbook, a classic for sure.
All and all, this recipe is very simple, even if it is a bit time consuming. I did not grow up eating banana cream pie very often, but if I had, it would have been this one. It is really comforting like that.
Banan Pudding Cream Pie
Custard adapted from Frannie Farmer Cookbook, by Marion Cunningham.
200 g (2 ¼ cups uncrushed) vanilla wafers, crushed
1/3 cup very finally chopped walnuts
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 375 F. Crush vanilla wafers in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin, or in the food processor. Add walnuts and butter, and stir till well combined. Pour mixture into a preferably 8 inch pie pan (a 9 inch pie pan, or springform pan will work, too). With the bottom of a measuring cup (or any flat bottomed cup) press the mixture firmly down, working from the center out and up the sides. Once the crust is an even thickness all around, bake for 8 to 13 minutes, until golden and fragrant.
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
Combine sugar, flour and salt in a saucepan. Stir in the milk, and cook over low heat until thick. (This could take a while, maybe twenty minutes. It will depend greatly on how hot “low heat” is to your stovetop. Take care not to scold your milk.) Remove from heat, and temper in your egg yolks. Return to the stove, and cook for about 3 more minutes. Remove from heat, and add the butter and vanilla. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before adding to your pie. (At this point, it is as thick as it will get. If it is still too soupy, you can cook it for longer.)
4 ripe bananas
½ cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons sour cream or crème fresh
Whip the cream in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or with a whisk in a bowl over an ice bath. Once the cream begins to thicken, add the powdered sugar and sour cream or cream fresh. Continue to beat until the cream forms soft peaks.
Assemble the pie as close to searing time as possible, although it will keep well in the fridge for a day. Once the crust has cooled completely, and the custard has cooled, pour the custard into the pie shell. Top with sliced bananas and whipped cream. Enjoy!