There's nothing new about banana cream pie but most recipes call for banana pudding as the filling of the cream pie. Since I am forever in love with the pastry cream recipe from the Culinary Institute of America, I knew that was the only filling I wanted in any kind of cream pie. I also knew I didn't want to fool around with a traditional pie crust and worry about getting the right amount of flakiness. Plus, for cream pies, I prefer a more hearty crust so I went with a graham cracker base.
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 large bananas, sliced into thick rounds
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 recipe of pastry cream
Toasted coconut and caramel sauce for garnish
- Crust: Whisk graham cracker crumbs and sugar together. Mix in melted butter. Press mixture firmly to cover the bottom and sides of a 9" pie pan. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees and let cool completely.
- Caramelized Bananas: Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Whisk in brown sugar until combined and melted with the butter. Place sliced bananas into mixture and cook gently over low heat, turning carefully until coated with caramel but not mushy. Remove from heat and arrange over graham cracker crust. Pour any excess sauce over the bananas. Let cool.
- Make half recipe of pastry cream. Let cool to room temperature but do not chill. Spread over cooled banana layer, smoothing top. Sprinkle top generously with toasted coconut and drizzle with caramel sauce. Chill before cutting and serving.