Banana Cream Pie

We had a string of warm and sticky days this past week, a taste of July in early May. Yesterday, as the storms began to roll through, bringing colder air sloooowly, I started pining for a cold dessert. I also had a bunch of bananas that were ripening awfully fast. The answer seemed very clear to me–Banana Cream Pie.

I’d never made one before, or any other kind of cream pie, for that matter. I make apple, pumpkin, and the occasional peach pie at least a few times a year, but I’ve never ventured into the world of cold pies. Now I don’t think there’s any going back. The beauty of the recipe I used (an adapted recipe from allrecipes.com) was that I had to make my own pudding, something I’ve also never done. The results were ridiculous. Never again will I buy a box of instant pudding! Not when making your own is so much better, and not that much work.

I’m going to cut and paste the pie recipe here, and edit it to reflect my changes. I highly recommend you give it a go this summer!

1/2 c white sugar
1/3 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups whole milk OR 1 1/2 c 1% and 1/2 c half-and-half
3 egg yolks, beaten (I have so many egg whites in my freezer right now it’s insane)
2 T butter
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked (this was my least favorite part).
4 bananas, sliced

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Add milk in gradually while stirring gently. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly. Keep stirring and cook for about 2 more minutes, and then remove from the burner. FYI–this is going to take a while. Ten minutes? Something like that.

Stir a small quantity of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, and immediately add egg yolk mixture to the rest of the hot mixture. Cook for 2 more minutes; remember to keep stirring. Remove the mixture from the stove, and add butter and vanilla. Stir until the whole thing has a smooth consistency. FYI–this also seemed to take a while, but that’s because I found a flour pocket stuck to the pan that had to be stirred, stirred, stirred in.

Slice bananas into the cooled baked pastry shell. Top with pudding mixture. Put in fridge for at least a few hours. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

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