Hawaii had 2 hurricanes headed our way and for a while there they looked like they were both making a bulls eye right for us. The first one passed without a problem (except for the Big Island) and it’s looking like the second one has veered North and will miss us too. Early in the week there was a lot of scurrying to get prepared, and then yesterday everything was closed in anticipation of the storms and everyone stayed home. So, naturally, I spent some of the day cooking. I figured the hurricane bananas I bought were far better off in a pie than sitting on the counter getting overripe.
I made banana cream pie two ways – with dairy and dairy free with coconut milk. They are both delicious. In the spirit of truth in advertising – the coconut version doesn’t look like the photograph. The photograph is of the one made with dairy. The custard and whipped cream in the coconut cream version are a little looser. It doesn’t make for a good picture, but it does make for good eating!
Timing is the biggest thing to be aware of when making this pie. You need at least 4 hours before serving: ½ hour to make it and 3 ½ hours of total cooling time.
If making the coconut milk version, you’ll also need to plan ahead the day before because the cans of coconut milk need to be chilled overnight in order for the solids to separate and whip.
The thin layer of chocolate on top of the crust is not just there for added deliciousness. It also serves the purpose of keeping the crust crisp. Almond meal crust isn’t as durable as wheat flour crust and gets soft quickly. The chocolate layer protects the crust from the custard and keeps it perfectly crisp. Plus, painting melted chocolate onto a crispy brown pie crust is really fun.
I hope you enjoy this scrumptious banana cream pie!
- One fully baked Almond Flour Pie Crust, made with coconut oil for dairy free
- For the Banana Cream Filling:
- 3/8-1/2 cup sweetener: xylitol, erythritol or a combination; may also add a few stevia drops and reduce the amount of other sweetener (I vary it depending on what I have on hand)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (I use organic so it's non GMO), add 1 additional tablespoon if using coconut milk
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 5 large egg yolks, add 1 additional egg yolk if using coconut milk
- 2 cups whole milk, or full fat coconut milk for dairy free
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, or full fat coconut milk for dairy free
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cool; eliminate if dairy free
- 4-5 small or 2-3 medium bananas
- For the Chocolate Coating:
- 4-5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, 70% or more cocoa; for sugar free use chocolate sweetened with stevia
- For the Whipped Cream:
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream or 2 cans (13.5 oz approx.) coconut milk (chilled overnight) for dairy free
- 1/4-1/2 cup sweetener (see above for choices)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make the Filling:
- In a medium saucepan, whisk sweetener, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks. Immediately and gradually, whisk in milk and cream, or coconut milk.
- Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently at first, and then constantly as the mixture starts to thicken and begins to simmer, about 8-10 minutes. Once mixture simmers, continue to cook, stirring constantly, for one minute longer.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and butter, if using. Pour into bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes (longer is fine too).
- Make the Chocolate Coating:
- Melt chocolate: in a double boiler, in a microwave, or in a non-stick frying pan. I use a non-stick frying pan because it's quicker. You need to really watch it like a hawk or it will seize-up and be ruined. Turn heat to low, add chocolate, and stir gently (those little rubber spatulas work great) until chocolate is just melted. If it starts to seize-up, remove from heat immediately and stir.
- Brush melted chocolate onto pie crust to form an even coating. A pastry brush is a good tool for this.
- Add Filling:
- Slice bananas into 1/4 inch rounds and lay on pie crust on top of the chocolate. Use enough bananas to make about 2 layers of slices.
- Pour cooled filling into crust. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 3 hours.
- Make the Whipped Cream:
- For Coconut Whipped Cream see recipe and discussion.
- For dairy whipped cream:
- Pour cream, 3/8 cup sweetener, and vanilla into the bowl of a standing mixer or a large bowl. Using the standing mixer with whisk attachment, or an electric mixer, beat cream on medium speed until it starts to thicken. Increase speed to medium high and then high and continue beating until medium-stiff peaks form. Taste when partially beaten and add a little more sweetener to taste.
- Spread whipped cream on top of pie and refrigerate until ready to serve.