Few types of patience are as rewarding as that of waiting for bananas to ripen. And this summer, instead of making banana bread your end goal yet again, try this banana cream pie from Nicole Rucker's newly released cookbook Dappled. There's almond cream, two forms of bananas and vanilla custard—plus a halo of whipped cream topping, of course—making this a strong contender to steal the crown away from apple as America's Favorite Pie.
Banana Cream Pie
Reprinted from Dappled by arrangement with Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2019, Nicole Rucker.
Yield: One 9½-inch pie
Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus chilling time
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes, plus chilling time
All-purpose flour, for rolling
½ recipe piecrust
½ recipe almond cream
6 to 8 medium-ripe bananas or 12 baby bananas
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 recipe pastry cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1. If your dough has been chilled overnight, it will need to sit at room temperature a bit before rolling—this will take 10 to 15 minutes. Lightly flour your work surface and roll the pie dough out to a 13-inch round that is ⅛-inch thick. Transfer to a 9½-inch pie dish and use your fingertips to relax the dough into the shape of the pie dish, leaving a 2-inch overhang around the edge of the dish. Fold the edge of the dough under itself. Use your thumb and forefinger to crimp the edge of the dough, pressing the dough into the dish and making sure the dough extends to the outer edge. This anchors the crust inside the dish, which results in a proud crown of crust after baking. Freeze the crimped crust for about 20 minutes, until the dough is very cold.
2. Position a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 375°F.
3. Line the crust with heavy-duty foil, leaving a 1½-inch overhang. Trace your fingertips over the foil overhang and gently press it into the crimp. Fill the foil-lined crust with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and lift out the foil and pie weights. Leave the oven on.
4. Spread the almond cream in the bottom of the crust. Cut half of the bananas into ¼-inch-thick slices, slightly on the bias. Beginning at the sides of the pie crust, fan the slices to cover the almond cream in overlapping rows. Sprinkle the bananas with the granulated sugar. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the almond cream has puffed and the bananas have browned. Let the baked shell cool completely on a wire rack.
5. Assemble the pie: Spread half of the pastry cream over the baked bananas and almond cream. Cut the rest of the bananas into ¼-inch-thick slices, on the bias. Beginning at the sides of the pie crust, fan the slices of fresh banana in overlapping rows on top of the pastry cream.
6. Cover the fresh bananas with the remaining pastry cream and smooth it into an even layer. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge while you make the whipped cream.
7. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cream and confectioners’ sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Pile the whipped cream on top of the pie and swoosh it around with the back of a spoon.
8. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. When you are ready to serve the pie, soak a kitchen towel in hot water and fold it in half. Place the cold pie on top of the towel to release the buttery crust from the dish.