Monday, November 2, 2009

Prize-Winning Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie

Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie
Last month, I attended the Second Annual Pie Contest in Slippery Rock, PA, sponsored by my amazing mother-in-law (Happy Birthday by the way!) and a few of her neighbors. There were at least 25 pies entered in 5 pie categories - Cream, Fruit (except apple), Apple, Nut, and Custard.

Ellen and I both entered a pie. I baked a new recipe for pumpkin pie and topped it with whipped cream. It was pretty good but maybe a little too sweet.

Ellen found a recipe on Epicurious for this phenomenal Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie. I wish I had taken a picture of an individual slice. Imagine from bottom to top - vanilla wafer crust, a layer of vanilla custard, sliced bananas, a layer of peanut butter mousse, and garnished with bananas and peanut brittle for a little crunchy contrast in texture. After a while, the peanut brittle started to dissolve a little and looked like drizzled caramel on top of the bananas. It was unbelievably good! Her pie won the cream pie category! Congratulations Ellen! You rock!

Here are some photos from the day - notice the aprons hanging on the clothesline for decoration. It was a great time to socialize while eating lots of pie. We were all judges and rated the pies we chose to try by assigning a number from 1 to 5 in five categories including appearance, taste, originality, and crust. The organizers tallied all the ballots and the pies with the highest score won for each category. After the five winners were announced, there were several overall judges who again tasted each of the winners' pies and rated them again. The winner of this won Best of Show. The Apple Raisin Streusel Pie won the Best of Show this year. Each participant was given a handmade knitted dishcloth and each winner was given a handmade apron. It was a terrific day.
Pie Contest Mosaic

Now for some of the pies...Mixed Berry, Pumpkin, Strawberry, Apple Streusel, Pumpkin Meringue, and Coconut Cream just to name a few. How do you choose which ones to try? Try them all!
My creation

Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie
From Bon Apetit, May 2009
recipe courtesy of Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Vanilla wafer crust:
6 ounces vanilla wafer cookies
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons sugar

Vanilla pudding filling:
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 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
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use old-fashioned or freshly ground)
2/3 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
Purchased peanut brittle, coarsely chopped (optional)

For vanilla wafer crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. 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 (not rim) of dish. Bake crust until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven; press crust with back of spoon if puffed. Cool crust completely.

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.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Keep chilled. 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. Sprinkle peanut brittle over bananas, if desired, and serve.


  1. Wowza!!!!! I remember this from last year...what a perfect day!! And scrumptious pies!!!! Ellen....kuddos to you! You rock!!

  2. It's time for the pie contest already? Seems like you just posted this from last year...time flies :) I think this looks fantastic!

  3. Deanna—Thanks for your sweet comment. Glad to catch up with you again. You've been making some lovely looking things lately and this pie looks outrageously good. Love the many layers of flavors.

  4. Congratulations, Ellen! That pie looks A-MAZ-ING...any leftovers for your neighors?!

  5. This pie looks and sounds incredible!! I love banana pie and I love peanut butter!!

  6. Wow. This pie looks spectacularly declicious!! Cannot WAIT to try this recipe! Congrats to Ellen. What a nice post!

  7. Thank you for this fantastic recipe! I made it, with a few slight alterations, and took home the prize for best pie at our churches annual pie contest-de-throwning the long time reigning pie queen (for this I feel slightly guilty, as she has far more expertise then me!) A great success! My family was relieved to know that I made a second one for us to enjoy all by ourselves!

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