Mini Banana Cream Pie Recipe and How to Make Pastry Cream

by Sandy on November 7, 2011

Mini Banana Cream Pie for your Thanksgiving Fruit Pie Recipe
I think they should change the name of Thanksgiving Day to “Thankgoodness Day.”  Thank Goodness… for Pie Day!!  What other day of the year allows you to throw out the diet and eat any pie you want?  eat lots of pies?  at the same time?  I can’t think of one.

One day a year, all kinds of families travel all over America to just sit together and eat pie. When it comes down to it, there really are only two kinds of families—families that like cream pies and families that don’t.

My husband’s family likes cream pies.

Thanksgivings at his family home were full of every kind of pie you could think of, every kind of pie, that is, except the kind of pie I like… fruit pie.  Yep, I’m from the “other” kind of family.  My sons seem to have inherited the fruit pie gene as well.  So, out of necessity, I decided to make this Mini Banana Cream Pie Recipe a regular at our Thanksgiving dinner.

Banana cream pies are usually a little tricky.  The whip cream and custard can separate if traveling long distances and I just hate cutting into a beautiful banana cream pie and seeing bananas that have blackened already.

This recipe for Mini Banana Cream Pie solves all those problems.  I make small, individual sized pie shells and keep the pastry cream and the whipped cream separate until ready to eat.  That way, you don’t have to cut the bananas until the last minute.  GENIUS!  Even if I do say so myself.

I got the idea from a restaurant that serves little banana cream pies for two.  The little pies got me thinking… if you can assemble a pie at the last minute… why can’t you travel with the separate components and assemble them anywhere?

Now, I can keep both kinds of families happy.

 How To Make Pastry Cream

For some reason, pastry cream seems mystical… intimidating.  It’s not, well, maybe a little.

Here is a quick Step by Step How to Make Pastry Cream.
how to make pastry cream
Warm the milk over medium heat. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the beans into the milk. Add the vanilla pod to the milk, as well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat.
beat egg yolks for pastry cream
Sift the sugar and cornstarch into the eggs yolks and beat with a whisk until they lighten in color and are thickened enough to form a “ribbon” when the whisk is lifted and the egg yolks fall back into the bowl.
temper the egg yolks for pastry cream
Temper the egg yolks by whisking 1/3 of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks and beat. Slowly pour the remaining milk into the egg yolks. Whisk continuously so that the eggs do not curdle.
Return the mixture to the pan and heat over medium heat until thickened. Do not boil.
pour pastry cream through a sieve
Strain mixture though a sieve. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap touches the surface of the pastry cream so that the cream does not form a “skin” on the top.
Chill.

Keep the pastry cream chilled with the plastic wrap on the surface until ready to assemble the Mini Banana Cream Pies.

Making homemade pastry cream is not difficult, it is just a little confusing your first time—all that pouring of the milk mixture back and forth. The key is not to boil the milk after you mix the eggs into it.

You can use Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs if you are worried about the eggs.  That way, you won’t have to raise the temperature of the eggs as high and risk scrambling them.
If you do happen to scramble the egg a little, use this nifty tip a chef taught me. Just put it in the blender and frappe.

 

Mini Banana Cream Pie Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Mini Banana Cream Pie Recipe will keep both sides of your family happy on Thanksgiving-the side that likes cream pies and the side that doesn't.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Baking
Serves: 6 to 8
Ingredients
  • For the pie crusts:
  • 12 graham crackers
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup pecans
  • ½ cup white chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • For the pastry cream:
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 large Davidson's Safest Choice Egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large bananas
  • 1 can caramel sauce (garnish)
  • Whipped Cream:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Garnish:
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, shaved
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare the pie crusts by breaking the graham crackers into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the crackers are the size of large peas.
  3. Add sugar, cinnamon, pecans and white chocolate. Pulse again until mixture is like coarse sand.
  4. Drizzle in the melted butter and blend in evenly without over processing the graham crackers and fold in the mini chocolate chips (preferably by hand).
  5. Press the graham cracker mixture into ramekins or muffin cups. The crust should be between ¼ and ½ inch thick.
  6. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until the nuts are toasted and the chocolate is melted. Check frequently to make sure they don't scorch or burn. You will know they are done when you begin to smell the nuts.
  7. To prepare the pastry cream, pour milk into a sauce pan. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk. Add the vanilla pods to the milk, as well. Bring milk to a simmer, immediately remove from heat and set aside to steep for 15 minutes.
  8. Beat the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch together until the egg yolks thicken and lighten in color. Temper the eggs by pouring about ⅓ of the milk into the eggs mixture while whisking vigorously.
  9. Pour egg mixture into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture and return to medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture is just about to boil. Quickly remove it from the heat.
  10. Stir in the butter.
  11. Strain the pastry cream through a fine sieve.
  12. Pour the cream into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. The plastic should touch the entire surface of the cream so that it does not form a "skin" while cooling. Set the bowl in an ice bath until cool and then chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour or over night.
  13. Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla to soft peak stage. Chill until ready to use.
  14. Assemble the Mini Banana Cream Pies:
  15. Remove the pastry cream from the refrigerator and spoon some of the pastry cream into the pie crusts.
  16. Slice the bananas over the cream.
  17. Drizzle with Dulce de Leche or caramel sauce.
  18. Top with whipped cream.
  19. Garnish with shaved white chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

-posted by Sandy

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina@flourtrader November 14, 2011 at 2:40 am

Your picture does take my breath away! There is not one thing I would change about these awesome little pies, everything about them says delicious. I like the step by step photos for the pastry cream also. Well done-yum!

Reply

Deborah November 14, 2011 at 5:46 am

I love this idea for mini pies!! And banana cream pie is one of my favorites!

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Anna December 10, 2011 at 9:43 am

What a fabulous idea! The white chocolate shavings sold me on it. Yumm :)

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Parsley Sage December 10, 2011 at 10:10 am

I fully support the holiday name change! Your cream pies look so yummy and so cuto!

Buzzed :)

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Susie December 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm

These look fantastic and banana cream pie is one of my favorites. I’m bookmarking this for sure. Thanks for posting.

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Kim Bee December 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Holy shnikeys that’s ridiculously good. I just want to dive face first into that thing. Great job. I blame you entirely when I gain 5 pounds this week. Lol!

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Liz December 10, 2011 at 5:51 pm

I love individual desserts…and your mini pies are perfect! Those white chocolate shavings are a beautiful garnish…mmmmmmm.

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Elyse @The Cultural Dish December 11, 2011 at 10:10 am

Omg! This looks so amazingly delicious!

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Kiri W. December 11, 2011 at 10:30 am

Mmm, the graham crust looks delicious, and the bananas.. yumm!!

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Joe December 12, 2011 at 3:02 am

Yum.. Yum..! Your banana cream pies look amazing! Got to try making it myself and then convince my fiancee that bananas make great desserts :D

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Meagan December 12, 2011 at 11:09 am

Love this, Sandy! Great tutorial and gorgeous pies!! Congrats on Top 9!!! :)

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Meagan December 12, 2011 at 11:11 am

Love this, Sandy! Gorgeous pies and fantastic tutorial. Congrats on Top 9!! :)

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Meagan December 12, 2011 at 11:17 am

Love this, Sandy! The pies look amazing and your tutorial is fantastic. Congrats on Top 9!! :)

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Beverly December 12, 2011 at 12:51 pm

OMG, I’m practically drooling now….

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Margaret Murphy Tripp December 12, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Most of our family are “cream-pie” people. Banana is a very nostalgic flavor for me since my grandmother always used to make it. Yours look beautiful and incredibly inviting. I really REALLY want one!!!

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Kim - Liv Life December 12, 2011 at 4:06 pm

What a pie! Those banana slices are calling my name. My daughter loves everything banana and these little guys are right up her alley. Congrats on the Top 9!

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Ambika January 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Wow!! Such a wonderful recipe, I have to visit you regularly to get my dessert fix! Gorgeous clicks!

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