That pie shaped empty space that's been in my life so long? It's all good now.
When I was in my mid-forties, I remember telling Jill that I missed the days when I could eat anything and my weight just remained constant. I told her, "I was living the good life and I didn't even know it." Well, those days are long gone, but, to quote Joel Goodson's dad in Risky Business, "Every once in awhile you just got to say, 'what the heck' and take some chances." It's a pretty sad testament to my risk taking at this point in life that banana cream pie is up there. But there you have it. I just have repeat my Stuart Smalley mantra, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it people like me."
Mix Graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl with a spoon. Placed buttered crumbs in a nice pie plate. (This pie deserves a nice pan!) Note: At some point, I'm going to try smushing a banana into this mixture. I'll keep you posted!
With your fingers, press down the crust and do your best to make an even crust that pushes up the sides of the pie plate. Bake the crust at 375 for 7-8 minutes. Do not overbrown!
Pour 3 cups whole milk into sauce pan and scald. Stir to make sure it does not brown. Turn off heat.
Mix sugar, salt, and flour together. Slowly whisk into milk. Turn heat back on. Cook for five minutes, stirring regularly. The mixture will thicken and start to turn pudding-y. But you're not done yet! Cover for two minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Beat the egg yolks. Take a few large spoonfuls of the warm milk mixture, and whisk into the eggs. Whisk constantly to keep the eggs from cooking. Pour egg mixture into milk, whisking continuously. Mix in vanilla and butter as well. Cook for one more minute. Then turn off the heat and let it sit. Nice work!
You are ready to spoon this into the pie once it cools down to luke-warmish and not scalding hot. 120 degrees is just fine.
Slice bananas thinly - 1/4" slices. I like a more banana-y pie, but go with your preference. Lay the 2/3 of the sliced bananas at the bottom of the pie.
Spoon 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the bananas, spread the remaining bananas over that mixture, then spoon in the rest of the pudding. Chill. (Both you and the pie!)
Using a Kitchen Aid Mixer or whatever you have, whip whipping cream, slowly adding sugar and vanilla, until solid peaks form. (Note: My next time I make this, I'm using the leftover egg whites to make a merengue. I'll keep you posted)
Spoon whipping cream over pie filling and smooth out evenly. If you just use half the whipping cream, it does a nice job and saves you a whole lot of calorie guilt. Or . . . Go for it and use it all! Chill for at least two hours.
Cut beautiful slices and serve, immediately achieving hero status!
Serving Size 1 Slice
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.