Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Banana Cream Pie

I actually made this dessert for a party we recently went to but it took me a while to pull my act together and post the recipe here. Now, I have a  confession make: I have made banana cream pie many, many times before but mostly using ready vanilla pudding mix. Let me tell you- there is no comparison whatsoever between the made-from-scratch vanilla pastry cream and the store-bought vanilla pudding! None. True, it takes longer to make the from-scratch pastry cream with all the whisking by the fire, tempering of the eggs, etc but the taste is definitely superior. My husband proclaimed it "The best banana cream pie" I've ever made without knowing what was different. Well, in this case, there was also the addition of a couple other "secret" ingredients (compliments of Paula Deen) that made this heavenly dessert really and truly over the top.


5-6 bananas, sliced
1 box Nilla Wafers
Vanilla Pastry Cream (recipe below)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 (14oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz.) container Cool Whip
chocolate syrup for decorating (optional)
chopped nuts for decorating (optional) 


Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with Nilla Wafers.

Slice your bananas and layer evenly on top of the wafers.

Spread cooled Vanilla pastry cream on top of bananas. 

Arrange another layer of Nilla Wafers on top of vanilla pastry cream. 
In a separate bowl, mix together cream cheese & condensed milk until smooth.  Gradually fold in whipped cream. Pour the mix evenly over the second layer of Nilla Wafers. 

Decorate with chocolate syrup and chopped nuts if desired.

Recipe adapted from Paula Deen's Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding

Vanilla Pastry Cream
2/3 cup sugar (can be reduced to 1/2 cup if you prefer desserts less sweet)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, beat eggs with a fork to combine. Set aside.

Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually pour in milk, while whisking, to make a smooth mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils. Continue to cook and stir one minute.

Pour several tablespoons of the hot mixture into the bowl with the eggs and immediately stir well.  Pour warmed egg mixture into the pan with the rest of the hot milk mixture. Return to a slow boil, and cook one minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Set aside to cool. When the pan has cooled, place in the refrigerator to fully cool. If desired, lay a piece of plastic wrap on the top surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming.

My youngest daughter, Lizzie, admiring Mommy's banana cream pie :))

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