How To Stop The Bananas In Banana Cream Pie From Turning Brown

According to the American Pie Council, delicious pie has been a thing since the ancient Egyptians. And while those first pies were of the savory variety, people figured out you could make some beautiful fruity fillings around the 1500s. Rumor has it, the first cherry pie was made for Queen Elizabeth I. Since then, creativity has sparked all types of pie fillings, including the much beloved banana cream pie. But pies made with bananas have really not been around that long.

The Nibble notes that bananas didn't become a large part of the American diet until around the 1880s; However, it didn't take long for Americans to figure out how to turn them into pies.  In fact, a book titled Woman's Exchange Cook Book of 1901 was the first to make reference to it, sharing, "Fill a pie shell, already baked, with sliced bananas and powdered sugar...Very nice so, but far better to cover the top with whipped cream and serve at once." Per National Today, the advent of the 1950s birthed the banana cream pie filled with custard we know and love. It was actually a favorite of American service members. Today, it's a pie eaten everywhere. The Brits even have their own version called a Banoffee pie made with bananas and toffee. 

If you're a fan of the banana cream pie, you may have noticed your bananas turning brown and wondered how to stop this from happening. We've got just trick to help prevent this.

You have several options

As Cooking Light explains, oxygen is the great "enemy" of a banana, so you want to wait until the very last minute in preparing your pie to slice the bananas. But there are a couple of ways to help delay that browning that naturally occurs when a peeled banana begins to oxidize and turns brown. When it comes to your banana cream pie, the color is probably less of an issue than what it does to the texture, making the banana slices a little slimy. Serious Eats suggests layering the slices of banana between pastry cream to slow the browning process. At the same time, they do note once you start slicing up the pie, you will see the color change on any bananas you can see.

My Recipes offers another option: Lightly "spritzing" your bananas with a little lemon, orange, or pineapple juice. However, the peril with this method is using too much and having your banana cream pie taste more like a banana-citrus cream pie. To avoid this, you could try Cooking Light's recommendation of using honey thinned with water to "coat" the banana slices. This method will also help hinder the browning and add a sweet flavor to your fruit.

My Recipes reveals banana cream pie is best eaten the day you make it, but it can keep up to three days if needed.