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The basic custard for this recipe is also the base recipe I use for many of my cream pies( whether it be banana, chocolate or strawberry) and puddings.
The most time consuming thing about this recipe is the cooling time, but it is well worth it!
In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together the granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the egg yolks to this and whisk until smooth. If needed to make this mixture smooth, add a little bit of milk (just a bit from the 1-1/2 cups you’ll use in a second) to make a smooth paste (add a teaspoon at a time). Set this egg mixture aside.
Pour the remaining milk and half (1-1/2 cups) of the heavy whipping cream in a 4-quart saucepan. Add the split vanilla bean and the scrapings to the milk mixture. Heat the milk mixture over medium heat until it just begins to simmer; remove pan from heat. Remove the vanilla bean and toss out.
Temper the egg yolk mixture by drizzling a little of the hot milk mixture into the yolks and whisk. Keep adding the milk mixture, little by little until it is all added and whisked in to the yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the saucepan; heat over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until bubbles rise to the surface and the mixture is quite thick (around 3-4 minutes).
Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the butter. Once butter is incorporated, add 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract. Set a sieve over a medium bowl and strain the mixture, pushing through with the back of a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap, lightly pressing the plastic onto the top surface. This will keep a skin from forming. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.
Now, while your custard is cooling, prepare your favorite pastry recipe for a single crust pie. Line the pie plate with the dough, crimp the edges and refrigerate until firm. Since the filling for this pie will not be baked in the crust, you want to fully blind bake it. Line the chilled pie shell with an oversized piece of foil. Fill the shell with dried beans (like pinto beans) to serve as your weights and bake in a 350° oven for 15-20 minutes. At that point, carefully remove the “weights” (See “Note” below) and return the shell to the oven to bake until the bottom is browned. Set aside and let cool completely.
Spread flaked coconut on a baking sheet and brown in the 350° oven. Watch this carefully from minute to minute because once it starts browning it takes off like a horse out of the starting gate. Once it’s browned, remove from the oven and set aside and let cool on the baking sheet. It will become crispy.
Once the custard is cooled, remove the plastic wrap and stir vigorously until smooth. Spread a thin layer of the custard on the bottom of the prepared pie crust. Slice bananas about 1/4″ thick and place a single layer on top of custard. Repeat with one more thin layer of custard (just enough to cover bananas) and another layer of bananas. Top with remaining custard.
For the topping; using an electric mixer whip the remaining 1-1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream, the confectioner’s sugar and remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie filling. Sprinkle the toasted coconut over the top. Serve cold.
NOTE: I use an over-sized piece of foil to line the pie plate with so that I can gather the top of the foil and make a “purse” to lift the hot beans out of the pan (don’t forget to use oven mitts! – I’ve forgotten plenty of times – Yeow!)
To me, nothing beats an old-fashioned red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting. Well, unless it’s a slice of cake of the same! Moist, deep in flavors, slightly sweet and topped with an incredible frosting!
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!