Pie takes time. Pie requires attentions. Pie demands love and care. Pie, even for an everyday baker like me, is a lost art.
I needed a good, old fashioned, pie contest to help me slow down, take a breath, and dream up the most delicious pie I could.
The most delicious thing I could dream up was this: bananas, homemade peanut butter, chocolate, graham crackers, butter, whipped cream, and as much sugar as I could reasonably pack into a single pie dish…. and some chocolate shavings for good measure.
The result: one mad Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie. The contest: inspired by Whitney and several bottles of wine. The contestants: as serious about pie as they are about being incredibly fashionable and audaciously cool. The competition: stiff. The winner: one devastating, delicious and perfectly tart Key Lime Pie.
Did you need a use for you homemade Honey Roasted Peanut Butter? I’m sure you found some toasted bread to enjoy it with. Just in case you needed an over the top excuse to enjoy life just a bit more… here’s a pie that, while it may not win any pie contests, is sure to make life a whole hell of a lot sweeter.
You’ll need some homemade peanut butter, but if you’re not feeling that ambitious, the jarred stuff will work too.
You’ll need a graham cracker crust, melted chocolate, peanut butter, banana cream pie filling, fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Here’s how it all comes together.
Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie
adapted from Martha Stewart, but mostly from me.
For the Crust:
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 stick (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
For the Chocolate Layer:
2 ounces of dark chocolate, melted over a double boiler
For the Peanut Butter Layer:
3/4 cup homemade peanut butter, or the jarred stuff, chunky or smooth as you see fit
For the Banana Layer:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter
3 ripe bananas, thinly sliced
For the Whipped Cream Layer:
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the crust, stir the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist. I use my fingers. Turn the ingredients into a 9-inch pie pan and pat with your fingers to create an even layer of crumbs of the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan.
Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Once heated, place the pie crust on the center rack of the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and set crust aside to cool.
For the chocolate layer, put two inches of water in a medium sauce pan, once simmering, place a larger bowl with the 2 ounces of chocolate in it over the simmering water. Melt the chocolate in this double boiler situation. Once cooled, pour into the baked graham cracker crust and spread around with a spatula. Place in the refrigerator to cool and harden.
Prepare the peanut butter. Once the chocolate is cooled, spread the peanut butter over the melted and hardened chocolate.
To prepare the banana filling, combine granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. Add egg yolks, and whisk until smooth. Bring milk to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup milk to yolk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Pour mixture into pan with hot milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to bubble and is very thick, about 6 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on this and whisk constantly over a low flame. The cornstarch will make the mixture thicken quickly.
Pour milk mixture through a large-mesh sieve into a bowl. Add butter, and stir until melted. Fold in bananas. Pour into crust. Place plastic wrap directly on surface of filling to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Make the topping: Beat together cream, sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Spread whipped cream over filling. Using a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon, shape topping into peaks.
Make chocolate shavings: Carefully run a sharp knife along the back side of a dark chocolate bar towards yourself. Quickly sprinkle the shavings on the top of the pie. It’s that easy!