Bourbon Banana Cream Pie
Banana cream pie with a fun boozy twist!
It’s March 14th, 3.14, Pi(e) Day!
And you know this is one fake holiday that I’m sure to remember. Because it’s a day that’s supposed to be about math, but somehow has become all about pie, and that is a holiday I can get behind.
Today I’m celebrating with this favorite, my twist on the classic. This bourbon banana cream pie with vanilla wafer cookie crust has been in my archives for a few years and this seemed like just the occasion for an update and revisit.
Or maybe I just really had a craving.
This pie was actually inspired by my trip to Austin four years ago for a blogging conference. While there I enjoyed an exclusive after-hours tour of the famous Franklin Barbecue, and though the brisket was incredible, it was the bourbon banana pudding pie listed on the piece of brown paper taped to a wall that served as their menu that stuck with me.
I couldn’t get that idea— bourbon + banana pudding + pie— out of my head. So I decided to make one myself.
Aside from a vanilla wafer crust, this is not your average banana cream pie. It started with the suggestion of bourbon and snowballed from there. I shook things up with brown sugar, brown butter, and a dash of cinnamon. And there’s enough bourbon that it’s a noticeable and wonderfully smoky presence.
Unfortunately, that also means there’s enough booze in the pie that it might not be the best kid-friendly dessert. But hey, that’s just more pie for you, right?
I thought it was a fantastic pie, until a slice the next day blew me away. It just keeps getting better! The only trick is getting it to last that long.
baking tip:Tempering Eggs
Tempering eggs is a critical step in making a traditional custard. It slowly brings the temperature of the eggs up as they’re cooked. Heat them too quickly and you’ll end up with scrambled eggs.
How it’s done is you heat a milk mixture just until it starts steaming and tiny bubbles form at the edges, and then add it in a slow steady stream to the eggs while whisking constantly. After they are combined, you can return the mixture to the stove and continue cooking until thickened. Some eggs may still form lumps as they cook, so straining the mixture before freezing will leave your custard silky smooth.
Bourbon Banana Cream Pie
For the crust:
- 3 cups vanilla wafers (150 grams)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (56 grams)
For the pastry cream:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (56 grams)
- 2 cups whole milk (500 ml)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (106 grams)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (78 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-4 tablespoons bourbon whiskey , to your taste
For the whipped topping and assembly:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream (500 ml)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 2-3 large bananas
To make the crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pulse the vanilla wafers in a food processor until they are crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until combined.
- Press the mixture into an 9-inch pie dish. Bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Let cool.
To make the pastry cream:
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the butter turns light brown in color. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, sugar, cinnamon and salt until steaming, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and cornstarch in a large bowl. Slowly add the hot milk mixture while whisking constantly.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and return to medium heat. While whisking continuously, cook until the custard thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and bourbon. Whisk in the browned butter.
- Pass the pastry cream through a mesh strainer to remove any lumps and chill completely in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 5 days. Once chilled it will be very thick.
Assembling the pie:
- Whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar and bourbon and whip to stiff peaks. Gently fold half of the whipped cream into the banana pastry cream.
- Spread a thin layer of pastry cream over the bottom of the pie crust. Add a layer of sliced bananas and then cover with the remaining pastry cream. Top with remaining whipped cream. Let chill for at least 1 hour in the fridge or overnight for best flavor. If desired, top with more banana slices right before serving.
Note: This recipe was originally published June 2013. Photos have been updated.
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