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Thursday, October 23, 2008

CEiMB: Banana Cream Pie


In Ellie's book, The Food You Crave: Luscious Food for a Healthy Life she describes her Banana Cream Pie as "fragrant vanilla pudding cradled in a graham cracker crumb crust, topped with bananas and real whipped cream..." - now with a description like that, how can you not want to try this?

As our very first dessert selection from the book for our CEiMB group, and an absolute banana pie lover, I couldn't be happier to make this one. My parents were visiting and since my Dad has a real sweet tooth, this was perfect. They both have a lot of dietary issues and it was really nice to be able to offer something that wasn't going to cause problems for them.


It was definitely a different version of this kind of pie than I've made before - translation: I've never made one that verges on being so, well, healthy! No sugar in the crust, very little in the pudding, lots and lots of fruit, well, with a pie like this, yes, we ate it for breakfast - well, my parents and I did anyway. And I didn't even feel guilty about it. The vanilla flavor in the pudding wasn't as prominent as I thought it would be, but it was still good.


The only change I made to the recipe was to make a little extra crust (one full recipe + half a recipe more). With that much fruit I just know that I am going to want a little extra crust. I've adjusted the amounts for the crust below accordingly.

Banana Cream Pie
(Source: The Food You Crave: Luscious Food for a Healthy Life)

For the Crust:
Cooking spray
11 graham cracker sheets
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 Tablespoons water

For the Pudding:
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
3 Tablespoons boiling water
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk (I actually used nonfat)
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Filling:
2 cups 1/4-inch-thick banana slices (3 medium bananas)

For the Topping:
1/4 cup well-chilled heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.

To make the crust, in a food processor, process the graham crackers until finely ground. Add the butter and water and process until the crumbs clump together. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pie plate and about 1 inch up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes, then let cool.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the gelatin in a small bowl; add the boiling water and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1/3 cup of sugar and the flour. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the milk and egg yolks together. Add the egg and milk mixture to the saucepan and whisk so the flour and sugar dissolve. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened. Stir in the vanilla and gelatin mixture. Set aside to cool slightly.

Arrange the sliced banana in the crust and pour the pudding on top. Place in the refrigerator until the pudding has set, about 3 hours.

Whip the cream in a medium bowl with an electric mixer. When it is about halfway to soft peaks, add the 1/2 teaspoon sugar, then continue whipping until it barely holds a soft peak. Put the whipped cream in a plastic bag, concentrating it in one corner of the bag. Snip that corner off the bag and squeeze the whipped cream out of the bag in a decorative pattern around the pie. The pie will keep in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.



The Food Librarian said...

Super duper yummy! And that whipped cream topping...can I sneak a piece?!

Manggy said...

I'm very impressed, there's barely any sugar at all! I think I may do this, and without the whipped cream too!

Peabody said...

There is a lot of fruit in the pie...which is a nice change for banana cream. Looks good.

Marthe said...

Looks amazing, now I'm really tempted to make this one!!

Nicole said...

Wow, this looks heavenly! I love banana cream pie!

Heather B said...

I'm glad you liked it! I thought it would be a nice pick this week. Your pie looks delicious! Great job!

Deborah said...

that is a gorgeous pie! And being a little healthier is a plus!

Anonymous said...

Yummy pie! Banana cream pie is my husband's absolute favorite. He's a sugar fiend though...I wonder if I could get him to eat this...

CB said...

You're smarty pants! I should have 1.5x the crust too. It would have been nice to make it thicker so it didn't fall apart after the first bite. Love the whipped cream pie slice. Glad you and the fam enjoyed it!
Clara @ iheartfood4thought

Gabi said...

Great job on the Banana Cream Pie Holly! Nice to bake with you in yet another group ;)

whitneyingram said...

Good heavens lady, your blog is killing me. I admire your baking skills more than you know! I am so bashful when it comes to really pulling out the stops and baking something extraordinary. Good for you! I cordially invite you to make me a cake!

vibi said...

Woahhh Nelly! This is going right in my "to do" folder... first time I stumble on such a good looking banana cream pie and I've been looking for years!

Anonymous said...

Great looking topping! Your pie looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

What better than healthy and delicious?
It looks great. Thanks for sharing =D

Jacque said...

Oh my goodness! would you look at that? It's banana pie perfection!

Helene said...

Wow! Just Wow!! I love all the fruit in this one and how creamy it looks! Well done!

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