December 6, 2010

banana cream pie

Our Thanksgiving dinner at No.7 in New York was really fun and unique. The meal was your typical Thanksgiving fare but with a different flair to it. General Tso's roasted turkey legs, sweet potatoes with Mexican chorizo, vodka turkey gravy, fried haricot verts with an amazing sauce, pumpkin-miso tart - it was all delicious and the restaurant was really cool and rustic looking.
our table. I say, go big or go home.
When we got home from our trip, however, I was really craving our traditional holiday meal so a week after Thanksgiving I woke up and decided to make a roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, homemade rolls, roasted brussels sprouts with lemon and a banana cream pie for dessert, since it's our favorite of the Thanksgiving pies. Of course, Martinellis were involved because that's a Nielson family tradition (one, that I dearly love). I even bought a dozen roses (for $4.99!), lit some candles and set the table with our best China and crystal goblets. It was quite romantic! Thanksgiving dinner for two is so much easier and we didn't have a ton of leftovers, except for that delicious banana cream pie. So, I'm going to share with you my favorite recipe for such.
2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 bananas, peeled and sliced

Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and mashed banana in large bowl until evenly combine. Add butter and stir. Press onto bottom and up sides of 10-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Bake crust until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt in heavy medium saucepan until dissolved. Gradually whisk in whipping cream and whole milk, then egg yolks. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. Whisk over medium-high heat until custard thickens and boils, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter and vanilla extract. Transfer custard to large bowl; cool completely, whisking occasionally, about 1 hour.

Stir custard to loosen and spread 1 cup over bottom of prepared crust. Top with half of sliced bananas, then 1 cup custard, covering bananas completely. Repeat layering with remaining bananas and remaining custard. Chill banana cream pie until filling is set and crust softens slightly, at least 6 hours. Top with freshly whipped cream and serve.


  1. Hi Elizabeth, you are truley Martha of the NEW GENERATION! Lovely table and beautiful love for your hubby. Thanks for sharing it with us....Donna from Massachusetts

  2. This is my favorite pie, which is saying a lot because I don't really like bananas. Today I'm venturing into the unknown and using this recipe to make pumpkin cream pie.

  3. PS - The pie was amazing! I added 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp ginger with the vanilla bean and stirred in about a tbs of meyer lemon juice with the vanilla. I was juggling a 3 y/o & 1 y/o during the process, so I'm not excatly sure about the amount of pumpkin, but I think around 1 1/2 to 2 cups puree and about 1/3 cup more sugar (I was able to add more sugar by mixing it with the puree before adding). If I make it again I think I'll add an extra egg yolk to thicken it a bit more.
    We had it last night at a pre-thanksgiving party, but it is even better after sitting overnight. (Who doesn't love pie for breakfast!)
    Happy Thanksgiving!


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