I have been dreaming of eating banana cream pie for some time now. I think I have only had it once before and that was in 2006 when I visited Hawaii (which was great fun by the way). I really think that America seems to be the place to be when it comes to pies. Australia's pie selection just seems so boring in comparison - we seem to do apple pie and lemon meringue pie and not a hell of a lot more.
Funnily enough I actually got this recipe from an Australian cookbook and it turned out pretty well. I like the banana cream filling and of course who can complain with loads of whipped cream on top. But I did have some issues with this pie. First of all working with gelatine for me was a nightmare! It made the cream filling go incredibly lumpy and I ended up having to heat the whole cream mixture using a double boiler to get it back to a smooth consistency. For a while there I thought I would have to throw out the whole thing, there may have been some foul language at that stage. The second issue I had was the pastry, I may have over worked it, but I found it incredibly hard - when what I was after was a nice flaky crust. Other than that the pie is good, maybe even better than good - lets just say there was very little conversation at the dinner table while it was being consumed.
Chocolate Banana Cream Pie (adapted from The Australian Women's Weekly - The Great Dessert Cookbook)
90g unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tbsp ground rice (rice flour)
1/4 tsp baking powder
30g unsalted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2/3 cup water
1 1/4 cups milk
3 to 4 bananas (I used 3 smallish bananas)1 tbsp gelatine
2/3 cup cream
dark chocolate (approximately 150g)
extra whipped cream (I added a little bit of caster sugar to mine)
shaved milk chocolate, to decorate
- Cream butter and sugar; add egg, beat well.
- Sift flour, ground rice and baking powder, work into creamed mixture, knead well until smooth.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll out pastry on floured surface to fit lightly greased 23cm pie plate. Decorate edges with trimmings, brush with water. Prick well with fork on base and round sides.
- Bake in hot oven (375F) for approximately 15 minutes or until lightly golden (took my oven 20 minutes); cool.
- Combine butter, sugar and half the water in a saucepan; cook, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly, stir in milk.
- Soften gelatine in remaining water, dissolve over hot water; cool. Blend into milk mixture. (This is where my mixture went lumpy and gross - if this happens to you, pop the mixture into a double boiler and stir/whisk until the lumps disappear).
- Separate eggs, add lightly beaten egg-yolks to milk mixture; allow to cool.
- When beginning to stiffen slightly, fold in lightly whipped cream and softly beaten egg-whites.
- Optionally at this stage melt the dark chocolate and spread over the base of the pie case. (Looking back I would probably put a layer of ganache on the base instead of just straight chocolate).
- Slice bananas, dip into lemon juice; reserve some slices for decoration (I didn't reserve any). Arrange remainder on base of cooked pie case.
- Pour cream mixture over carefully; refrigerate until set.
- Just before serving, decorate with extra whipped cream and reserved banana slices (I decorated with shaved chocolate instead).
And now for some pictures of the process. The uncooked pastry case...
Pastry case cooked and fresh out of the oven...
Cover the pastry in melted chocolate...
Top with slices of banana...
Pour over the cream mixture and refrigerate to set...
Top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate, cut a slice and enjoy...