Banana Cream Pie

 I haven't made a banana cream pie since 2014, so this reminded me how much I enjoyed them. 

I was baking this for friends when I realized I didn't have bananas the night before. So I ran to the grocery and sadly, all the bananas were on the green side. I brought the ripest ones I could fine, which was ok for eating but not my preferred ripeness for baking.
I quickly googled tips for ripening bananas
  • place them in a warm spot
  • place them in a brown paper bag
  • bake them in an oven
  • keep the banana bunch together
  • use an air fryer
  • microwave them

As I needed the bananas to look nice and yellow (not brown banana slugs) for my pie, I could only do the warm location, brown paper bag, and keep them in a bunch. I haven't personally tried baking, air frying, or microwaving them, but I'm keeping that in mind if I ever need ripe bananas for bread and muffins.
I had only 12 hours to ripen the bananas (the downside of starting your baking at midnight), so the pie didn't have as strong of a banana flavor as I would have liked, but B didn't seem to mind.
Fun fact: I just learned that there's a National Banana Cream Pie Day (March 2nd), so there really is a day for everything. Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction.

Banana Cream Pie

Ingredients
CRUST:
2 1/4 cups grahram crackers, crushed
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon

FILLING:
1 and 3/4 cups milk (I used 2% milk)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 bananas

WHIPPED CREAM:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
chocolate, to granish

Directions
CRUST: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and cinnamon in a bowl. Press graham cracker mixture into the bottom and sides of your pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes and then let cool to room temperature.

FILLING: Combine the milk, heavy cream, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer, whisking occasionally. Whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together in a separate heatproof bowl until thick. Add in 1 cup of the simmering milk to the egg yolk mixture to slow heat/temper it. Then, slowly our the egg yolk mixture into the pan, whisking the entire time to prevent the eggs from scrambling. While continuously whisking, cook until the mixture is thick. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Allow the custard to cool.

WHIPPED CREAM: With a mixer, beat the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Keep chilled in fridge until ready to assemble.

ASSEMBLY: Slice 2 bananas and arrange slices into the cooled graham cracker shell. Spread cooled filling on top. Slice remaining 2 bananas and decorate the pie with slices. Pipe the whipped cream on the pie. Garnish with grated chocolate curls by using a vegetable peeler to "peel" the chocolate. Serve and enjoy!

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