There is a bit of a story behind this chocolate banana peanut butter cream pie (try saying that ten times fast). My husband’s research advisor (Dr. P) almost always refuses to eat the baked goods I send to the office. However, he often breaks his embargo for store-bought cakes and cookies that find their way there. The exception to this rule is anything with chocolate and peanut butter in it. It has become a bit of a mission for me to create the ultimate irresistible dessert.
When I made banana cream pie for the first time as one of the pies for our wedding, I immediately started scheming up ways to turn it into said irresistible dessert. For this recipe, I swapped out the traditional vanilla custard for chocolate custard and mixed powdered peanut butter into the whipped cream. The result is incredibly rich, and lives up to its name. Bad day at work? Dr. Pie can cure what ails you. Need to indulge your sweet tooth? Dr. Pie to the rescue!
Without further ado, let’s make some pie! You will need the following ingredients:
For the crust
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs, finely ground (approximately 10 crackers)
- 6 Tbsp. melted butter
- ¼ cup sugar
For the chocolate custard
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- 5 large egg yolks (for a tutorial on how to separate eggs, click here!)
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (half of the bar shown above)
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
For the peanut butter whipped cream
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp. powdered peanut butter
To put the banana in banana cream pie
- 2-4 firm, ripe bananas (sorry, mine are invisible in this photo)
For baking ambiance (optional)
- Your favorite New Wave album. I went with East Side Story by Squeeze, followed by Argybargy and Frank when that ran out.
Here We Go!
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Grind your graham crackers until they resemble sand. I use a food processor, but you can also put them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin, or other heavy object (Pete Townshend might go with a guitar).
Melt your butter.
Mix the graham cracker crumbs and sugar into the melted butter. Stir until the mixture is well-combined and holds together somewhat.
Press the graham cracker mixture into your pie plate. If you have another pie plate of the same size, you can use this to even out your crust. Just place the second pie plate inside the first and press down until the crust is level and rises up the sides. If any crumbs fall out, just push them back in.
Bake your crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. The edges should just be turning golden-brown.
Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn starch, and salt in a medium saucepan.
Whisk the milk into the saucepan. Heat on medium-low heat until the milk just begins to simmer, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat and quickly whisk in chopped chocolate until it is fully melted.
Whisk in the egg yolks quickly until fully combined.
Put the saucepan back on the heat and return to a simmer, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat once the custard simmers, then scrape the sides of the pan with a rubber spatula.
Return the saucepan to the heat again, whisking constantly, and cook for one minute.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter cubes and vanilla extract. Let your custard cool completely. You will want to eat this with a spoon (or your fingers) now, but resist the urge. The struggle is real, but it will pay off when you have assembled your pie.
While the custard is cooling, slice the bananas on a bias (diagonally), approximately 1/8″ thick.
When the custard is fully cooled, spoon 1/3 into your baked crust (continue to resist the urge to eat it all right now). Spread it evenly over the bottom. I suggest working from the middle out, as if you pull the custard in the wrong direction, you will pick up crumbs and make your custard sandy.
Layer half of the banana slices on top of the layer of custard.
Spoon on another layer of custard, then layer your remaining banana slices on top of that. Spread the last of the custard evenly on top.
Refrigerate your pie for at least 3 hours so it sets.
Once your pie has chilled completely, prepare your whipped cream.
Be sure to chill your bowl and beater(s). I used a stand mixer for this, but you could do it with a handheld mixer, or even a whisk, if you’re feeling energetic.
Pour the cold cream into the bowl and beat as fast as you can without making a mess.
When the cream begins to thicken, mix in confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract, and peanut butter powder. This may seem too peanut buttery, but you will need it to complement the chocolate.
Beat on high speed again, making sure to scrape your bowl once or twice throughout the process, until the cream holds its shape.
Spread the whipped cream on top of your pie.
Now let’s eat that sucker!
Download a PDF of the recipe here: Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Cream Pie