Banana Cream Pie

Here begins the perfect pie to make with your family this weekend. Take time together to craft the cream from scratch, roll out the dough, fill it up, and crown it all with a toasty meringue. Then, savor every bite as it melts in your mouth.

Gift yourself with the leftover banana pastry cream to enjoy the rest of the week. Layered on cookies and cakes, smeared between flapjacks, and piped into donuts, it's a delicious reminder of the special day you shared. 

Yield: 1 large pie, or 18 individual pies , Prep time: 60-90 minutes , Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

Pastry Cream:
2 bananas 
1/4 cup brown sugar 
2 tbsp. butter 
2 cups whole milk 
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 tsp. vanilla extract 
4 eggs, separated
1/4 cup cornstarch 
salt

pie dough 
2 bananas

Meringue:
1/3 cup sugar 
3 tbsp. cocoa powder 

Instructions:
1. In a large saute pan, bring the butter to medium-high heat. Cook until the butter has melted, is bubbling, and is starting to turn brown. Slice the bananas and add to the butter with the brown sugar. Cook together until the brown sugar has melted and the bananas are caramelized; remove from the heat and let cool. 

2. In a small sauce pot, combine the milk, 1/4 cup of sugar, and vanilla extract; stir together and bring to medium heat on the stove top. **Make sure to not let the milk burn or you have to start all over again.** You are looking for the milk to create whisps of steam, but never boil. 

3. While the milk cooks, whisk together the cornstarch, 4 egg yolks, and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar in a mixing bowl. Then, slowly pour in half of the hot milk, whisking continuously. Now, pour the egg yolk + milk mixture through a fine mesh sieve back into the pot with the remaining milk. Keep the milk on medium heat and cook until it starts to thicken to a pudding-like consistency. 

4. Next, using an immersion blender or food processor, pulse the sauteed bananas into the pastry cream until it reaches a smooth consistency. Transfer to a plastic bag and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble the pie. 

5. Bake the pie crust in your preferred pie mold according to the directions of your favorite recipe. 

6. Lastly, prepare the meringue: Using a stand mixer or hand beaters, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. When the whites hold their form, slowly pour in the sugar and cocoa powder, beating continuously. When everything is combined, transfer to a plastic bag and keep in the refrigerator. 

7. When you are ready to assemble the pie, fill the base of the shell with the banana pastry cream. Top with the remaining the banana slices. Clip one of the corners of the plastic bag and pipe the meringue over the bananas.

8. Finally, turn your oven to broil and place the rack in the center of the oven. Place the pie in the oven and cook until the top of the meringue is golden brown and toasted. Remove from the oven, slice and serve.

Tips + Tricks

**Bake individual pies by cutting the dough to fit muffin tins and filling them one by one. Toast the tops to order.
**Spike the cream by adding a little bourbon when you saute the bananas. (It's a grownup twist that we actually use for our own homemade donuts at CWC, the Restaurant!)

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