Monday, April 1, 2013

Banana Cream Pie

I made this delicious, refreshing pie for Easter Sunday. A perfect spring-time desert that you're allowed to trick yourself into pretending it's healthy because it has bananas in it (definitely not healthy)!

Graham Cracker Crust

14 Graham crackers (7 oz-ish)
6 tbs Melted butter
1/4 cup Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1-2 tbs Water

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the graham crackers in the food processor. Pulse until the crackers are chopped to fine crumbs (or cheat and buy the pre-crumbed graham crackers in the baking aisle). Add the melted butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon, pulse to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of water and pulse a couple more times. If the crumbs are moist and pinch together well, dump into a pie pan. If not, repeat with another tablespoon of water and proceed.

2.  Press the graham cracker mixture firmly against the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Then bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely. (I put the crust in the freezer while I prepared the filling, it was barely cool when I was finished, so if you're in a rush I definitely recommend doing this). 

Banana Cream Pie Filling 

2 cup Heavy Cream
3 tbs Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 - 3.4 oz. box Instant Vanilla Pudding
1 cup Cold Milk
8 oz. Cream Cheese
14 oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk
4-5 Ripe Bananas
1/2 cup Toasted Coconut

1.  Using an electric or stand mixer, whip the heavy cream with the 3 tablespoons of sugar and vanilla. Scoop into a separate bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the instant pudding and milk until well combined and set aside.

2.  Then using the mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy, then with the mixer still running, add the sweetened condensed milk and pudding. scrape the bowl and beat until smooth. Using a spatula, fold in half the whipped cream.

3.  Now spread a thin layer of the filling over the bottom and sides of the cooled pie crust. Cut 3-4 bananas into chunks. Press the chunks to the bottom and sides of the pie crust. Then scoop the remaining filling into the pan crust. Smooth the filling, top with the remaining whipped cream, cover gently with plastic wrap, and chill for at least one hour.

4.  When you are ready to serve the pie, decorate the top with more fresh cut banana chunks and toasted coconut.

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