Banana Cream Pie

The old Chiquita Banana song was so catchy I remember it all these years later:

I’m Chiquita Banana and I’ve come to say

Bananas have to ripen in a certain way

When they are fleck’d with brown and have a golden hue

Bananas taste the best and are the best for you

Okay, I did get some help from the internet. I only remembered the first two lines. I also remember that that commercial taught a lot of people about when bananas are the sweetest (when their starch has started turning to sugar — the brown spots) and how not to store them:

But bananas love the climate of the very, very tropical equator,

So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator

Bananas are one of my favorite foods. Unfortunately I am allergic and haven’t eaten one for at least 20 years. My husband Ed said that by then I had eaten my lifetime fill. Before the allergy I would eat a banana at least once a day. When I was pregnant with my first child I would make a Banana Cream Pie on a Sunday and then cut it into 7 wedges. I ate one wedge every day until Sunday came around again and I would make another pie. I was thin in those days, so the extra calories did me no harm, and my daughter Meredith came out just fine! 

I confess it wasn’t the best pregnancy diet. But that was long ago and at least I have the memory of those Banana Cream Pies, so fabulously rich and creamy and that I can never eat again. 

And today is National Banana Cream Pie Day!

So, for those who have no gastronomic issues with bananas and love a great dessert, here’s a good recipe for Banana Cream Pie sob sob :(

Banana Cream Pie

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-1/2 cups milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 bananas
  • 1 fully baked 9-inch pie crust
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Place the 1/2 cup sugar, flour and salt into a saucepan. Stir in enough milk to make a loose paste and place the pan over medium heat. Gradually add the remaining milk and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is as thick as yogurt. Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually add about one cup of the hot milk mixture to them. Mix well, then return the egg mixture to the pan. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes (do not boil). Remove the pan from the heat. Cool slightly. Stir in the vanilla extract. Slice the bananas about 1/2-inch thick and place them in a single layer inside the pie crust. Sprinkle with the lemon juice. Spoon the cooled, cooked custard over the bananas. Refrigerate for about 2 hours or until chilled thoroughly. Whip the cream with the teaspoon of sugar until thick. Spread the whipped cream on top of the pie.

Makes 8 servings