Some things are better left as classics. I consider Banana Cream Pie one of them. I do have a few requirements though.
1) I like lots of bananas
2) I like a lot of filling. I want it to fill almost the entire pie shell and be creamy but also stiff enough to cut clean slices
3) I like a huge dome of whipped cream on top.
You might say, I like my banana cream pie nice and fittingly, indulgent. The picture below was snapped in haste (because I wanted to eat it) does not do the pie justice. It looks like the whipped cream is overtaking the pie leaving a bit of filling at the bottom. I did whip a lot of cream. This is true. But I whipped it very, very softly so when I went to cut a slice, it weeped down into the side of the filling and covered it up. I will suggest whipping your cream until it can hold soft peaks for yours. I didn't really care what it looked like at that point because as soon as I took a bite and my mouth filled with cold, sweet cream and vanilla, butter crust and pudding, I was done for. This is perfect pie. I'll say it. Perfect classic pie.
The instructions are lengthy but it's because it includes homemade pie crust. . You can always use a store bought crust and skip it. Just make sure to follow the instructions on the package for baking it before filling.
Sky High Classic Banana Cream Pie
FOR THE PIE CRUST: makes 2 crusts (you only need one for this recipe)
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
8-10 tablespoons ice water
FOR THE FILLING:
3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups heavy whipping cream, for topping
5-6 tablespoons powdered sugar, for whipped cream
For the pie crust: dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan (this is so you can transfer the dough without ripping it). Wrap the remaining dough in plastic wrap and shape into a disk. Refrigerate or freeze for future use.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Crimp the edges of the pie dough to create a nice crust. Line the pie crust with foil and ad pie weights (or dried beans or rice) to weight it down. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and weight and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Cover edge with a pie shield if it starts to brown. Remove pie crust from oven and set aside to cool.
FOR THE FILLING: Layer banana slices evenly in the bottom of the crust. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, cornstarch, eggs, and salt. Whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to simmer and thicken.
Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla. Stir until melted. Pour the filling into the baked crust. Place a layer of plastic wrap over the crust, and press down so it touches the surface of the filling. Chill overnight.
Beat the cream on high in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. After one minute, add the powdered sugar and continue beating until the cream holds soft to medium soft peaks. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if desired. Top the pie with the cream and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Toasted sliced almonds would be a nice touch on top. Just sayin'.