Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie — banana , chocolate , cream pie , dessert , favorite recipes , pies / tarts — For Two, Please

November 30, 2009

Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie

A belated happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone got their fill of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, yams, green beans, and of course apple/pumpkin pie this year :)

I know...this doesn't look like your typical pumpkin pie. But I can explain; my mom's side of the family is apparently averse to pumpkin pie -- if you can believe that. So given the lack of one of my favorite desserts during this Thanksgiving holiday (though we did have apple pie!), I knew it was absolutely imperative to have an insanely indulgent and delicious substitute on hand to distract me from any pumpkin pie envy. This seemed to do the trick.

After literally inhaling the biggest meal of the year, there's something really appealing/comforting about taking on a slightly lighter kind of dessert. Because even though you've deliberately worn your fat pants to dinner and feel like you're on the verge of upchucking everything you just ate, you can never say no to dessert...especially when it's Thanksgiving.

This stunning black-and-white dessert combines delicate banana cream filling with a dense chocolate bottom for a lighter but equally decadent treat. There are essentially 5 layers to it -- a rich chocolate wafer crust, an intense and velvety chocolate ganache, sweet banana slices, creamy vanilla custard, and fresh and airy vanilla whipped cream. Now what is this nonsense about pumpkin pie envy?! ;)

Anyway, my apologies for the lack of pictures. What's missing is the layer of vanilla custard and whipped cream on top of the bananas. Those steps were hastily done in about 2 minutes as we were madly rushing out the door (this unfortunately seems to be a trend for us)...

Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie
Adapted from Bon Appetit, February 1998

For crust
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about 7 ounces)

For chocolate ganache
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 ripe bananas

For vanilla pastry cream
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For vanilla whipped cream
1 cup chilled whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make crust:
Butter 9-inch-diameter glass or ceramic pie dish. Stir butter and chocolate in heavy small saucepan over low heat until smooth. Mix in cookie crumbs. Press onto bottom and up sides of prepared dish. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

Make chocolate ganache:
Heat cream and butter in medium saucepan over medium heat until mixture is hot (do not boil). Remove from heat. Add chocolate and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Reserve 2 tablespoons chocolate ganache in small bowl at room temperature; pour remainder over crust. Chill crust until chocolate ganache is firm, about 30 minutes.

Thinly slice 2 bananas. Arrange banana slices over chocolate.

Make vanilla pastry cream:
Bring half and half to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk sugar, eggs, egg yolk and flour in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot half and half. Transfer to saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until mixture thickens and comes to boil, about 2-3 minutes. Pour into medium bowl. Stir in vanilla. Press plastic onto surface of pastry cream. Cover; chill until cold, about 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.)

Whisk Vanilla Pastry Cream until smooth. Spread pastry cream evenly over bananas. Drizzle reserved chocolate ganache over pastry cream. Draw toothpick through pastry cream and chocolate to marbleize. Refrigerate until pastry cream is set, about 3 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

Spoon Vanilla Whipped Cream around edges of pie, or spoon whipped cream into pastry bag that's fitted with large star tip and pipe cream around edges of pie. Slice remaining banana. Garnish pie with banana slices.


  1. Love bananas! That looks delicious. I am like your mom - I don't like pumpkin pie either!

  2. Made this yesterday and it was really good. I used the chocolate part of an Oreo instead of the wafer and i used four bananas. Next time I would just make more of the ganache, for a bigger layer. Yum Yum


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