banana cream pie with caramelized walnuts and grow bananas
I have a weird aversion to bananas. I think their texture is kind of weird. But I like them when they’re in stuff, so I’m not opposed to things like banana bread, or banana muffins or things like that. When I was contacted recently by a rep who offered me bananas, I thought, “Huh? Really? Bananas?”
I accepted the offer though and was able to learn more about the company behind Organics Unlimited and their program called GROW (Giving Resources and Opportunities to Workers). GROW helps fund programs for farm workers and their families in the areas where Organics Unlimited bananas are grown (in Mexico and Ecuador). These programs include scholarships, study groups, dental programs and vision exams. A portion of each purchased GROW box is donated to the GROW fund to help support these programs to bring educational and health care programs to these underdeveloped banana growing regions.
The bananas I received were from this GROW box – you can tell by the sticker placed on the bananas! GROW bananas are available at Jimbo’s Naturally stores and can sometimes be found in Sprouts, Ralphs, and OB People’s Food Store.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the bananas. So many ideas ran through my head; I got suggestions on Twitter and Facebook. Bread? Cookies? Pie? What?
I decided on making a pie. A banana cream pie. With caramelized walnuts.
Want a make a pie, too? Follow my instructions below.
Take photos of bananas in the yard.
Hope no one else is watching you take photos of bananas in the yard.
Proceed to bake a pie shell without properly tucking it into the pan.
Lament about how ugly your pie is going to look.
Sigh dramatically. Notice that no one else is around to hear you sigh dramatically. Repeat.
Make delicious vanilla custard stuff from scratch and feel slightly better about the ugly pie crust.
Slice the bananas. Think to yourself, “Organic bananas look just like regular bananas!” Laugh at self.
Decide to cut the bananas on a bias. Decide you should use the word “bias” more often.
Layer bananas into the bottom of the crust. Wonder if it’s too many bananas.
Layer vanilla custard goo on top. Sigh again about the crust.
Eat dinner that your boyfriend made for you (not shown).
Make caramelized walnuts with brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Think to yourself that you are a genius.
Eat a few walnuts. And the goo.
Stragetically place walnuts on top of the pie for maximum coverage. Stick pie in fridge.
Get tired of waiting and go to bed before having a slice. (You can skip this step)
Slice a piece and top with whipped cream. Think to yourself, “Yes, I made an ugly pie. But holy hell, it is delicious.”
* Disclaimer – I was given a bunch of bananas to make this recipe with. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.
Banana Cream Pie Ingredients
Adapted from: food.com
1 pie crust
3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten & in a small bowl
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup raw walnuts
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Bake yourself up a pie crust. I cheat and use the ones from Trader Joe’s.
Sift together the sugar, flour and salt. Set aside.
Scald the milk over medium heat, stirring occasionally. You want the milk heated through to almost boiling – right to about when the bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan, then turn it off.
Put scaled milk it into a bowl and then pour the dry ingredients into the hot pan you just used (or, you can use a new pan). Slowly pour in the scaled milk and start stirring!
Stirring constantly, heat the mixture over medium heat until it thickens.
Cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Take your slightly beaten eggs and add a little bit of the hot milky mixture to the eggs to temper them. I put in a few spoonfuls, stir, put in a few more spoonfuls and stir again before adding it to the hot milky mixture.
Cook for one more minute, stirring the whole time!
Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla until blended. Let sit until it becomes about room temperature.
Slice bananas on a bias (diagonally!) and layer into the bottom of the pie crust. Poor delicious milky vanilla custard stuff over the top. Stick in the fridge until you’re done with your walnuts.
For the walnuts:
Toast walnuts in a dry pan over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes or until you can smell the nutty aroma. Remove nuts.
Melt a couple of pats of butter into the pan and add brown sugar and cinnamon. Still until the sugar gets a little melted. Add nuts and toss to coat. Let it get all bubbly and golden and then remove from heat (less than a minute). Let caramelized walnuts cool down and then scatter on top of your pie.
Add whipped cream to pie. Make it all pretty and delicious looking.