Easy Homemade Chocolate Banana Cream Pie.
I want to start by saying that if you’re going to make a Banana Cream Pie, I implore you to make the custard from scratch and NOT, for the love of all that is right and good in the world, use a pudding mix. Because here’s the thing: this recipe is called Easy Homemade Chocolate Banana Cream Pie for a reason. It’s easy. Easy does not mean instant. But, it certainly can mean great.
And, oh my. This pie is delicious.
A shortbread cookie crust, rich layer of dark chocolate custard topped with rum custard, bananas and fresh whipped cream…To get a pie like that, there will be some time involved. If you decide to start making this chocolate banana cream pie now, you will not be eating it 5 minutes from now. Patience is a virtue.
I mean…. yes, you can whisk together a box of instant pudding mix, pour it into a pre-made grahm cracker crust, slice in a few bananas, top with cool whip and call it Banana Cream Pie. And it will be pretty good. Or, you can take 20 extra minutes out of your day, plan ahead so the pie has enough time to chill out in your refrigerator for a bit and serve something awesome. It’s like shopping for kitchenware at Kmart vs. Williams Sonoma. You might find something that’s pretty good at Kmart. But you’ll probably find something you really love at Williams Sonoma.
The two people I think of every time I make this Chocolate Banana Cream Pie are my Grandpa and my son, Corey.
Corey really does resemble my Grandpa in a lot of ways… in appearance and personality. They are both the oldest of their siblings. Both were born mature and responsible. (We used to say that Corey was 4 going on 40.) They are both hard workers and independent. And they both have a weakness for homemade banana cream pie and chocolate. Especially when those two things are combined.
My son begs for this pie. I’m pretty sure he would tell you it’s his all-time favorite dessert. It’s been his only request for his last few birthdays and was his single-minded answer when I asked his opinion about what food to serve at his high school graduation party.
Speaking of his graduation party… This pie is great if you’re making dessert for a crowd. You can double, triple or quadruple the custard recipe as needed. The only limitation is the size of your pan. For my son’s graduation party, I made 8 of these chocolate banana cream pies in one afternoon by quadrupling the recipe and making it twice. My Grandpa was, of course, at the party. I let him take a whole pie home. Everyone was happy.
If you’ve never made banana cream pie from scratch, this is a great recipe to start with.
The crust uses store bought shortbread cookies. The two different types of custard – chocolate and rum – are made by simply dividing the custard in half and adding chocolate to one portion and rum to the other.
And I beg you to not substitute cool whip or canned whipped cream for the real deal. Whipping cream takes all of 5 minutes and is incomparably better.
One final note: I have also made this with chocolate cookie wafers instead of shortbread. Also awesome. So, pick your poison and get baking.
- 2 packages (5.3 oz each) all-butter shortbread cookies
- pinch of salt
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 ½ tbsp. butter, melted
- Add the shortbread, pinch of salt and nutmeg to the bowl of a food processor and process in long pulses until finely ground and beginning to stick to the sides. Add the melted butter and vanilla, and pulse just until incorporated. Transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch pie plate and press evenly into the bottom and up the sides. Freeze the pie shell for at least one hour.
- Place the chocolate in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and remaining ¼ tsp salt. Slowly whisk in the milk and then the egg yolks. Cook over medium-high heat until the custard boils and is very thick, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. Measure out ½ cup of the hot custard and add to the bowl of chocolate; let sit for a minute or two to melt the chocolate. Meanwhile, whisk the 2 tbsb. cold butter into the custard in the saucepan. Stir in the rum and transfer the rum custard to a heatproof bowl. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 2-3 hours.
- Stir the chocolate custard until all the chocolate is melted and smooth and then stir in 1½ tbsp. cream. Remove the pie shell from the freezer and spread the chocolate custard across the bottom. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- Working over the pie shell, cut the bananas into ¼-inch thick slices, letting them fall to cover the bottom. Spoon the rum custard over the bananas, smoothing the top.
- Whip 1 cup cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla until it forms soft peaks, Spread on top of the rum custard and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 day, before serving.