Friday, September 16, 2011

Banana Cream Pie or How to Score Points With the Father-In-Law

We went on a family vacation to the mountains with my in-laws.

No, seriously. And it was great.  The accommodations were wonderful, the pool was awesome, the weather was amazing, the mountains were stunning, the hiking was invigorating - all in all an incredible holiday.

Except there was no banana cream pie.  Not a one.

So here's the story.

We're on vacation.  I want need to find a bakery. I'm on a mission to find a decent croissant (I mean, really, a vacation isn't a vacation unless you can find a decent croissant, right?).  So since we're planning to walk downtown and check out the shops, etc, I assume that my request has been heard and the websites that I have left up on the laptop have been noted by my dear husband/navigator and the plan to visit a bakery has been worked in to our itinerary.  At some point during all of this I hear my father-in-law mumble something about banana cream pie.

After walking for quite awhile and coming to the end of the quaint shop-lined street, I ask when it is that we were going to reach the bakery.  To my astonishment, my husband replies that there is no bakery on this street and he didn't realize that I thought the destination WAS said bakery to which I respond... um... well, let's just say that when a person thinks she's getting a croissant and she doesn't get it, she can be a little cranky.  Anyway,
I eventually apologize and we make a detour to stop at the first bakery on the list.

I am excited. This bakery even has "Croissant" in the title!  So we get there, and it's gone.  GONE.  Empty.  Vacant.

So, off to bakery #2.  There is still hope. We roll up at 4:11pm, walk up to the door... and it's locked. Closed at 4pm! We missed it by 11 minutes! Argh!

But wait!  A lovely young lady who is mopping the floor sees us (I'm sure she's moved by the pastry-starved looks on our faces - especially mine)  and has mercy on us!  We're in!

But they have no croissants.

By this time I've given up finding a croissant and have moved on to pie.  We pretty much buy what they have left; a lovely strawberry rhubarb pie, a lemon meringue pie, a piece of apple pie and the last ginger snap in the place.  Again, at some point during all of this I hear my father-in-law mumble something about banana cream pie.

Over the next couple of days, I find myself daydreaming about banana cream pie.  Now, I'm not to terribly into "cream" pies (I usually stick to the "fruit" variety, you know, the ones with the ever-so-important double crusts), but I truly can not stop thinking about banana cream pie!  I think about it so much that I make a solemn and public vow to make one when we get home.  Actually, I would make two.  One for us and one for my father-in-law who has been mumbling about it for days and got the idea into my head in the first place.

Fantastic family vacation. Note the absence of banana cream. And croissants.

 I had never made banana cream pie before (hey, I know I'm a pie prude, but if you remember I did go topless with the key lime awhile back and I'm going topless again now so how 'bout we cut me some slack, 'kay? I'm branching out. Baby steps.), but good ol' Google didn't let me down.  I finally found a recipe using flour instead of cornstarch in the filling and I was off!

You can find the original recipe here at, but all I did differently was cut down the sugar a wee bit.  And I opted for whipped cream instead of meringue.  And I painted the crust with chocolate but that's it, I swear!

Old-fashioned Banana Cream Pie


      - 1 9-inch pie shell, baked
      - 3 cups whole milk
      - 2/3 cup white sugar
      - 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
      - 1/4 teaspoon salt
      - 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
      - 2 tablespoons butter
      - 1 teaspoon vanilla
      - 3 bananas
      - 1/2 cup (ish) semi-sweet chocolate chips
      - cream for whipping with a bit o’ sugar


      1)  In a large saucepan, scald the milk.
      2)  In another saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and salt; gradually stir in the scalded milk.
      3)  Over medium heat, stirring constantly, cook until thickened.
      4)  Cover and, stirring occasionally, cook for two minutes longer.
      5)  In a small bowl, have the 3 egg yolks slightly beaten and ready; stir in small amount of the hot mixture into beaten yolks; when thoroughly combined, stir yolks into hot mixture.
      6)  Cook for one minute longer, stirring constantly.
      7)  Remove from heat and blend in the butter and vanilla.
      8)  Let sit until lukewarm.
      9)  Melt chocolate chips and brush or spread on bottom of pie shell. Refrigerate.
      10)  Let cool.  Top with fresh whipped, lightly sweetened cream.

      This pie is delicious but RICH.  By my third bite I was DONE.  I could NOT eat any more. But I did anyway. And felt sick. (I know, I know, but I wasn't about to go to all that trouble making the darn thing and then not even eat a whole piece!) My father-in-law, on the other hand, scarfed down his piece and then proceeded to ask for a SECOND piece. And then he ate it! It was shocking.

      Foreground: The Pie.     Background: The father-in-law, scarfing.

      Well, at least the richest pie in the world was a hit.  I know this because at some point during all of the scarfing I heard my father-in-law mumble something about it being the best banana cream pie he'd ever had.



      1. Mmmmmmm... you are obviously a great blogger because any recipe you post I end up craving (and I don't even have pregnancy to blame for that anymore). I need to make me some of this banana cream pie - soon.

        Thanks again for a delicious and humourous posting!

        PS - I like the labels you chose for this post; banana cream pie and unhealthy... too funny.

      2. Haha - thanks, guys!

        And, Jennifer - leave it to another blogger to notice the labels ;)


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