Grampa’s Banana Cream Pie and a Gluten-free version
During one of their trips to Finland, Grampa taught me how to make Banana Cream Pie. It is one of those recipes that I know by heart. I’m not sure if I have the actual written version anymore. It has been a well-loved recipe that has been made many, many times. This past weekend we finally celebrated the birthday of our two year-old Isabella whose actual birthday was in April and since my husband has a birthday in May this treat doubled up for both of them. It has been my husband’s favorite for years.
Since I am usually baking or cooking for a crowd, I made a double batch and made the pie crust in a 9×13” or 22×33 cm pan. I then slipped the crust out of the pan and placed it on a larger sheet for serving. Due to the straight sides of the pan, the sides did not stay up and folded over making the edges a bit thick. Since it does not have the traditional sides of a pie, the filling tended to spill over a bit. The most important thing was that the flavor was just as great as with a standard round pie. The recipe below is for a standard round pie.
Banana Cream Pie
3 dl/1.3 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
115 g/4 oz cold butter cut into cubes
1 1/2 tbsp cold lemon juice
2-3 tbsp ice cold water
I usually use my Kitchen aid and the flat beater for making the crust. You can definitely make it by hand as well. I mix the butter, salt and flour together so that it forms a crumbly mixture and then add in the lemon juice and water and mix just enough so that it can form a ball. After rolling out the dough and placing it in the pie tin, prick the bottom with a fork and refrigerate it for about 20-30 minutes. This minimizes the shrinkage of the crust during baking. Bake the crust at 225 C/435 F for about 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool.
The custard should be made well in advance so that it has a chance to chill properly. Make it the morning of or even the day before and refrigerate.
6 dl/2.5 c milk
1 1/2 dl/0.6 c sugar
1 vanilla bean
3 egg yolks
4 tbsp corn starch
1-2 tbsp water
30 g/1 oz butter
dash of salt
Place the milk, sugar and one slitted vanilla bean in a heavy bottomed saucepan and allow to come to a boil. The sugar insures that the milk will not burn to the bottom. Allow to boil for a few minutes so that it has slightly condensed. Remove the vanilla bean. In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks, cornstarch and water so that it forms a smooth paste. With a heat resistant cup take about 2.5 dl/1 cup of the boiling milk and mix it with the egg yolk mixture. Turn the heat on the boiling milk to low. Whisk half of the egg yolk-milk mixture with the boiling milk. Whisk constantly. After it has been incorporated, add the second half. This step insures that a smooth custard is formed that does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
Allow for the custard to boil for a minute or two so that it thickens, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in the butter and salt.
After is has cooled somewhat, place cling film directly on the custard. This prevents a skin from forming on the custard while it cools. After it has cooled to lukewarm, chill in the refrigerator.
Slice 2-3 ripe bananas on the pie crust and whip 2 dl/0.8 cups of heavy cream.
Next spoon the chilled custard on the sliced bananas. Spoon the whipped cream on the custard and garnish with coconut or a dash of cinnamon.
For a gluten-free version, omit the crust and spoon the custard into a glass single-serving bowl. Slice a half of a banana on the custard and garnish with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon.