Perfect Banana Cream PieStephanie Hunter
Now, I love pumpkin pie. But if there is not a banana cream pie on the dessert table at Thanksgiving…somebody’s going to be in trouble. And since I do most of the cooking these days, I guess that somebody is me! So off I went on a search to find an easy, no fail, delicious banana cream pie. After many failed attemps, this one fit the bill! I adapted it slightly to include stabilized whip cream which helps with any (gasp) leftovers and of course the addition of pumpkin pie salted caramel sauce which adds another layer of richness. I’ve also made it with our classic salted caramel sauce and served it at Easter Brunch; a truly beautiful dessert. Anyway you’d like to make it…you just need to make it! It can be made ahead of time too! Bonus!!
14 whole graham crackers, crushed
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 teaspoons water
Pinch of salt
2 cups heavy cream, whipped and divided.
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3.4 ounce box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup milk
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
2-3 large bananas, sliced into rounds
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
For Crust: Place graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs. Add melted butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Pulse to combine. Add 1 teaspoon of water and pulse a couple of more times. If the crumbs pince together well, dump them in to a deep pie pan (if not add another teaspoon of water and pulse again). Using your fingers, or a measuring cup, press the crumbs firmly against the bottom and sides of pie pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before filling.
For Filling: In a medium bowl, whip the 2 cups of heavy cream until stiff peaks form (find recipe here). Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together the instant pudding with 1 cup of milk. Set aside. On medium speed, whip the cream cheese until fluffy (I usually use the paddle attachment on my stand mixer). Lower your speed and gently mix in the pudding and sweetened condensed milk. Fold in 1/2 of the whip cream.
Assembly: Spread a small layer of filling on the bottom and sides of the cooled crust. Layer the sliced bananas on top of the filling, making sure you put a layer around the sides. Drizzle pumpkin spice salted caramel sauce all over the top of the bananas. Pour the remaining filling over the top of the bananas and caramel, smoothing into kind of a dome shape. Top with remaining whip cream. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Drizzle each slice with additional pumpkin spice salted caramel sauce when serving. Serves 8-10.