I have to admit that I rarely eat bananas straight from the peel; by themselves they just aren’t my fruit of choice, but put them in a bread or a cake or a cream pie and suddenly I’m all about the banana. This Banana Cream Pie is a perfect blend of creamy, vanilla custard, banana, flaky crust, and of course, whipped cream to top it all off. This is such a classic pie and everyone has their favorite, go-to recipe, but I thought I’d bring you this maple-syrup sweetened version of Mel’s Kitchen Cafe’s Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie. It’s best eaten the day it’s made or the bananas will brown and not look so appetising, but as good as this yummy pie is that shouldn’t be a problem.
- Marie Callender’s or any 9-inch pie crust you prefer
Banana Cream Filling:
- 1/3 cup real maple syrup
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
- 5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 1 2/3 cups milk (2% or whole)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 medium bananas
Whipped Cream Topping:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400
For the crust:
- Remove from the fridge and let sit for half an hour to soften.
- Carefully transfer crust from the pie tin it came into a 9-inch glass pie. (See Note) If it cracks, lightly moisten your fingers and press it back together.
- Prick all over the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork, then place in the fridge for an hour to chill.
- Line the chilled pie shell with a layer of aluminum foil, covering the edges so they don’t burn, and fill with pie weights, dried beans, or rice. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and continue to bake the crust until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes more. Set aside to cool completely.
For the filling:
- Whisk the cornstarch and salt together in a medium saucepan, pour in maple syrup and stir to blend. Whisk in the half-and-half or heavy cream, followed by the egg yolks and the milk until the mixture is smooth.
- Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens. The resulting texture and thickness should be that of an almost set pudding. Remove pan from heat and let the mixture cool until warm.
- Pour one-third to one half of the warm filling into the pre-baked pie shell.
- Peel the bananas and slice on top of the filling, then cover with remaining filling. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap over filling surface. Refrigerate pie until it is completely chilled, at least 3 hours.
For the topping:
- Whip the cream, syrup and vanilla together until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie (if you are going to pipe the whipped cream, you’ll need to whip the cream to stiff peaks) Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note: You can certainly leave the crust in the original tin pan, if you prefer; it just makes a “prettier” presentation in a glass pie pan.
Oh my gosh, it’s going to be Easter in just a couple of weeks!! Yeah, I know…news flash! Clearly this holiday has sneaked up on me, so I got busy experimenting with some Easter dessert options.
My first is: Better for You Banana cake. Until now, I haven’t brought you a layer cake recipe and that’s because I’ve always had such bad luck with them – they’ve all been “leaners”. You know…the ones that no matter which way you turn them, are always tilted. Which is kind of embarrassing since I’m supposed to be a baker, and that includes making layer cakes that don’t look like they’re going to fall over.
So I stepped out of that comfort zone I’m so fond of and went about learning the “technicalities” of making a straight up, level, flat cake layer. And it wasn’t nearly as scary or daunting a task as I had thought it would be. Imagine that? Basically, you just need to wrap some wet strips of towel around the edge of the cake pan in whatever width the pan is, usually 2-3″, attaching them with large safety pins. The moisture from the wet towel strips help the cake to bake more evenly, preventing the dome that forms, which is the primary reason layer cakes lean. You can find more detailed information for the procedure on one of my favorite blogs: The Kitchn.
You really should give this Better for You Banana cake a try. It’s been lightened up from the original recipe; both the butter and sweetener has been reduced (as usual, I used real maple syrup for the sweetener). This banana cake is moist, flavorful, and downright irresistible. So why resist?
For the Cake:
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3/4 cup butter, room temp
- 1 cup real maple syrup
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3 cups flour
- 3 ripe bananas mashed, about 1½ cups
For the Frosting
- 8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- 1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut, optional
Preheat oven to 325°F
For the Cake:
- Spray three 8-inch round cake pans or two 9-inch round cake pans with Baker’s Joy (or similar) spray. Set aside.
- Whisk the milk and lemon juice together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Combine flour, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and syrup in a large bowl until combined, adding in the syrup a little at a time until fully incorporated (The mixture will appear slightly “curdled”, but don’t worry, it’s just fine).
- Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Add in the milk and flour mixture in alternating additions, beginning and ending with flour, mixing on low and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Finally, mix in the mashed bananas until just incorporated.
- Divide the batter evenly among the pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Rotate the pans in the oven halfway through baking.
- Cool cakes in the pans for 15-20 minutes; then remove from the pans and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Frosting:
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the butter and cream cheese together for 2 minutes until creamy. Mix in the maple syrup.
- Add in the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk.
- With the mixer on medium, blend until creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add remaining tablespoon of milk, if needed and mix until combined.
For the Toasted Coconut, Optional:
- Place the coconut in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring gently but constantly. The coconut will start to turn light brown; watch carefully, because it burns quickly.
- Remove the pan from the heat and allow the coconut to cool completely. (I spread mine out on a paper plate so it wouldn’t continue to brown in the warm pan and would cool faster.)
- Sprinkle cake with the toasted coconut.