Ever since I was a little kid, I have always enjoyed the peanut butter and banana combination. I remember the first time I had a peanut butter and banana sandwich. I was probably four or five, and my grandmother made one for me. I thought it was going to be gross, but I tried it anyway and loved it. Ever since then, I knew that I loved these two flavors together. When I saw this recipe, I couldn’t wait to try it. When I made banana cream pie last year, it was a huge hit with our friends, and since I know a bunch of peanut butter lovers, I was pretty confident this would go over well.
This recipe is not difficult, but you do have to think ahead. You need time to chill the pudding filling, and once you make the peanut butter layer, the pie needs to chill at least 3 hours. I would recommend doing this the night before or early in the day it is to be served, but wait until right before serving to add the bananas on top. Otherwise, the bananas will start to brown. This was truly one of my favorite desserts. The bananas and peanut butter went together so well, and I loved how the peanut butter cream layer tasted with the vanilla pudding. The pudding itself was delicious, and I would use this recipe in other desserts (or even on its own) in the future. This pie was devoured very quickly, and I’m so glad I got to make it! I used flourless peanut butter cookies as the crust instead of the vanilla wafer crust the recipe called for, but I’m including both crust recipes, so you can decide which one you want to make.
Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie
Source: adapted from Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, who run the Baked bakery, via Epicurious
Peanut Butter Cookie Crust:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Combine all ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes. Once cool, break into pieces and process in a food processor to finely ground crumbs. Stir in ½ stick melted butter. Press into bottom of pie plate, then bake for 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Vanilla wafer crust:
6 ounces vanilla wafer crust
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in processor; blend until mixture resembles moist crumbs, about 1 minute. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish and press mixture onto bottom and up sides of dish. Bake crust until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven; press crust with back of spoon if puffed. Cool crust completely.
Vanilla pudding filling:
1/3 cup sugar
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup whole milk
2 large egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 firm but ripe bananas, peeled, divided
3 tablespoons orange juice, divided
Peanut butter layer:
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2/3 chilled heavy whipping cream
For vanilla pudding filling:
Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt in heavy medium saucepan until no lumps remain. Gradually whisk in cream, then milk. Add yolks and scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; whisk to blend. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until pudding thickens and boils, about 5 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Spread warm pudding in cooled crust. Chill until filling is cool, about 1 hour.
Thinly slice 3 bananas on diagonal. Combine banana slices and 2 tablespoons orange juice in medium bowl; toss to coat. Transfer banana slices to paper towels and pat dry. Arrange enough banana slices in single layer over vanilla custard filling to cover completely.
For peanut butter layer:
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Beat in vanilla, then peanut butter. Beat cream in another medium bowl until firm peaks form. Fold large spoonful of whipped cream into peanut mixture to loosen, then fold in remaining cream in 2 additions. Spread peanut butter layer evenly over bananas. Chill at least 3 hours. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
Just before serving: Thinly slice remaining banana on diagonal. Toss with remaining 1 tablespoon orange juice, then pat dry with paper towels. Arrange banana slices around top edge of pie.