Two nights ago I sat awake in my chair and frowned with worry. Long has it been that I feared a complicated recipe but this banana cream pie recipe from Momofuku Milk Bar had me questioning my sanity. I read numerous blogs about this specific banana cream pie, created by Chef Christina Tosi. Before I go into the nuances about the pie itself, the process of making it, and how it all fared, let me share with you the bottom line:
This banana cream pie is a journey, but it is one worth taking. It takes about 4 hours to make but it will be the best banana cream pie you will ever have.
Now that we got that out of the way let’s get down and dirty… literally! I can promise you that by the time your pie is fully chilled and ready to eat your kitchen will be destroyed and you will have cocoa powder somewhere on your clothes. But never fear, because like I said… it is totally worth it. You will begin by making a brownie-like crust that bakes against the pie plate, and then is filled with the most luscious, fluffy banana-packed cream filling that is a perfect blend of bananas and cream. It is simply divine. Ready to learn how to make this pie? Okay, let’s go!
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of good-quality cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
1 batch of the chocolate crumb recipes (above)
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
Banana Cream Filling:
2 very ripe (black) bananas
1/3 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of whole milk (I used 2% and it was fine)
1/2 cup of caster sugar
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 egg yolks
3 gelatin sheets (or 2 1/4 teaspoons of powdered gelatin)
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon yellow food coloring
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup icing sugar (also known as powdered sugar)
1 ripe (dark yellow) banana, sliced
Step-by-Step Picture Instructions:
1. Begin by making your brownie crumble. Combine the ingredients and place on a cookie sheet to cook. Bake in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
2. Next begin to make the banana portion of the banana cream filling. Combine the 2 black bananas, heavy cream, and milk in a blender and whirl. add in the caster sugar, cornstarch, salt and egg yolks. Blend until smooth.
3. Pour into a medium sauce pan and whisk vigorously on medium-low heat until it bubbles and the starch is cooked through. This should be about 5 minutes.
** Clean out your blender and prepare it to use shortly. Also, take your gelatin (most likely powder) and put it into a small bowl with 1/4 cup of cold water. Allow it to soften for 5 minutes while you are whisking the banana pudding. **
4. Pour your banana cream filling back into your clean blender and add the gelatin and several drops of yellow food coloring. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a heatproof dish and place in the refrigerator to cool while you finish the crust and whipped cream.
5. Your brownie-like crumble should be done baking. Allow it to cool before you then carefully put it into a food processor along with the 2 tablespoons of room-temperature butter and pulse until it is ground down into a fine, sticky crumble. Take your pie plate and a pair of rubber gloves, and slowly begin to mold the crumble against the pie plate. You will notice that it feels and looks like thin play-dough. This is good. Evenly spread it around the plate and then place the pie plate to cool in the refrigerator.
6. Meanwhile, go back to your stand mixer. It is now time to make the whipped cream part of the banana cream filling. Add the 3/4 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of powdered sugar. Whip together in a stand mixer until medium-stiff peaks form. Then turn down the mixer to low and slowly add in the chilled banana filling mixture. Mix together until evenly distributed.
7. Now it is time to assemble the pie!! Get your chilled pie shell and carefully fill the pie to halfway. Place pieces of the sliced, ripe banana on top of the banana cream. Then top the sliced bananas with the rest of the cream filling. Tada! You made the Momofuku Milk Bar’s Banana Cream Pie! Chill for at least 2 hours BEFORE eating!