AKA: heaven in pie form. I absolutely adore, ADORE banana cream pie. Or coconut cream pie…or chocolate cream pie. Basically any pie, really, but this one truly is amazing. It’s like a pie plate full of sunshine. Which brings me to another topic. Yesterday, I received a very sweet comment on my Chicken Tortilla Soup from a reader named Marisa:

Hey Amy,
I discovered your blog a few days ago by looking at foodgawker.com and saw the amazing sushi you made! I am currently going through chemotherapy as I was diagnosed with cancer in February. Since I am no longer able to work or go to school I have been cooking a lot, and I saw this [chicken tortilla] soup on your page. I made it tonight for my family and absolutely LOVE it! I added black beans to get more protein, and have to say the flavor just in the broth is amazing! All in all, keep up this blog, it is so fun to read and look at, and congrats on your new daughter, she is SO adorable with the red hair! 

I replied to the comment, but somehow it didn’t seem like enough. The rest of the night, I couldn’t get Marisa off of my mind. I was so touched that she had found comfort in the kitchen using my recipes. I wanted to do a little something to cheer her up and let her know how much I appreciate her as a reader. This pie seemed to be the perfect solution. I have no idea where Marisa is from, or what her favorite dessert is, or if she even likes banana cream pie, but I’m dedicating this recipe to her. Marisa, this delicious pie is for you; it’s such a happy, sunshiny dessert, and while I know I can’t send you a slice, I hope it will bring a smile to your face. Maybe you can make it for yourself and your family soon and enjoy a little slice of happiness.

Salted Caramel Banana Cream Pie

1 9-inch pie crust, recipe follows (you can also use a store-bought crust)

For the filling:
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1 3/4 cups milk (low fat is fine; I actually used lactose-free milk and it was perfect!)
1/2 cup salted caramel sauce, recipe follows (if you’re in a hurry, feel free to use the jarred stuff)
3 bananas

Topping:
1 cup fresh whipped cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, chilled or frozen
4 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water

Salted Caramel Sauce:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

Make the filling: Whisk the milk and pudding mix together at high speed for 2-3 minutes, until thick. Stir in one banana, cut into small chunks. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

Make the topping: In a medium bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, and vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form.

Make the pie dough: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt and vanilla; cut or work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers or a cold pastry cutter until you have large pea sized chunks scattered throughout. Alternatively, pulse the dough in a food processor, or mix in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed.

Add the ice water slowly while stirring with a fork, or in the food processor or mixer, until just combined. Be careful not to overwork the dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, flatten and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Roll out one chilled pie dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Reserve the second pie dough disc for another use. Transfer dough to pie plate, pressing the dough lightly into the plate; trim the edges. Dock the dough with the prongs of a fork evenly over the bottom of the pie plate. Line the docked dough with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.

Bake the pie crust until the edges are brown and golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the weights. Return crust to the oven to finish baking for another 5 minutes.

Make the salted caramel sauce: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring to a boil without stirring. If necessary, use a wet pastry brush to wash down any crystals on the side of the pan. Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt, to taste. Transfer the caramel to a dish and cool. Makes 1 1/2 cups sauce.

To assemble the pie: thinly slice the two remaining bananas and place in a single layer in the cooled crust. Drizzle with the 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce, then pour in the pie filling. Top with the whipped cream and drizzle with additional caramel sauce before serving. Makes 1 9-inch pie.

Recipe source: adapted from Kelsey Nixon (Kelsey’s Essentials)

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15 Comments »

  1. This sounds heavenly! Love it!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — May 9, 2012 @ 8:27 PM

  2. Great dedication! Cheers to people finding inspiration and to salted caramel banana cream pies! My hubby would LOVE this pie! He always asks me to make banana pudding (I have no idea where his craving comes from… but I think this will do)!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Rebecca — May 9, 2012 @ 10:59 PM

  3. Gorgeous looking pie and what a darling idea for a special reader indeed.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Emma — May 10, 2012 @ 12:15 AM

  4. Gorgeous pie and great recipe!! Loved it!

    [Reply]

    Comment by purabi naha — May 10, 2012 @ 9:43 AM

  5. This looks DELICIOUS!! Can’t wait to try the recipe!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Tiffany — May 10, 2012 @ 6:11 PM

  6. You are incredibly awesome for dedicating this post to Marisa and I think Marisa is incredibly awesome for writing that comment. I mean, how often do people actually go to the trouble of writing a nice comment like that? Not often I think. This pie looks great! I really, really wish I weren’t allergic to bananas. :)

    [Reply]

    amy Reply:

    Allergic to bananas?! How sad! :(

    [Reply]

    Comment by Erin @ Texanerin Baking — May 11, 2012 @ 2:37 PM

  7. Amy, this just proves again what a sweetheart you are. I love that you dedicated this to such an amazing reader who is struggling through a very tough patch.

    I watched Kelsey Nixon make this and I knew I’d have to have it one day. I really like her show, especially when she makes things like this!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kelsey — May 11, 2012 @ 5:10 PM

  8. Amy, your post shows that blogging is about more than just “food.” The heart you put into this pie (not to mention the salted caramel sauce) is amazing. Have a VERY Happy Mother’s Day!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kimby — May 12, 2012 @ 11:40 AM

  9. What a sweet gesture, Amy! And, what a sweet looking pie!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Nikki @Pennies on a Platter — May 13, 2012 @ 11:11 PM

  10. What a gorgeous pie! Banana pudding is big in Texas, as I’m sure you know, and I’ve got to learn how to make it sometime soon. Maybe after, I’ll attempt this pie! Thanks for sharing, Amy!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — May 16, 2012 @ 11:19 AM

  11. What an awesome post. You rock! As for the pie, my oh my, I have to make this at my next brunch get-together!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — May 17, 2012 @ 4:03 PM

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  14. What a delightful read! And the cream pielook amazing!I had featured U in the post of Seven Classic Pies Every Father Should Enjoy On Father’s Day on AllFreshRecipes.Except ur refreshing recipes!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Sarah — June 24, 2013 @ 2:37 AM

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