Pies have a reputation for being difficult specialties that only experienced bakers should attempt.  They're known to be temperamental and tricky - decidedly out of reach for most of us.  Intimidated pre-pie baker, meet the Banana Cream Pie.  She's simple and sweet - the unpretentious "girl next door" type that everyone loves.  A graham cracker crust, with homemade vanilla custard (aka pudding), bananas and whipped cream - it has become our favorite "after school" snack.  I recommend help with crumbling the graham crackers - it is surely the hardest part.

Cream Pie

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold milk
3 large egg yolks
2 cups milk, heated
2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1 1/2 cups of whipping cream
1/4 cup of sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a pie plate, melt 5 tablespoons of butter in the microwave.  Add graham crackers and sugar to the melted butter and mix with a fork.  Press mixture into the pan with a measuring cup.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden-brown. 

For the custard, in a heavy saucepan stir together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in the cold milk and egg yolks. Heat the 2 cups of milk in the microwave until very hot - about 2 minutes in my microwave.  Slowly stir in the hot milk - whisking constantly.  Cook over medium heat, and continue to whisk.  As soon as the mixture begins to thicken, remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.  Continue to stir for 1 more minute.

Pour 1/2 of the custard mixture into the pie crust.  Add a layer of bananas.  Pour the rest of the custard over the bananas.  Let cool.

When cool (after 30 minutes or so) whip cream.  Add sugar while whipping.  Top pie with sweetened whip cream and refrigerate.  

Because my food processor bowl is still out of commission, I enlisted help with the smashing of...

and nibbling on graham crackers.

I like the crumbs to have some texture - it looks more homemade and rustic. 

Look how bright these egg yolks are - thanks to the Butlers for the fresh eggs!  

Baked and cooling.   I think I need a big deep window sill in the new kitchen.

Bright yellow custard from the bright yellow egg yolks.

Layer 1.

Layer 2 & a little of layer 3.

Whip cream topped and ready for the fridge.

A look behind the scene of my crew.
So strong!


Post-Dinner... that's 2 pretty hefty servings.