Banana coconut cream pie might very well be the food of the angels. (The banana angels?) Can you picture it? So much dreaminess, like angels swan diving into tropical whipped cream coconut clouds. Throw a little drizzle o’ salted caramel on there and everything feels alright in the world for a quick cream-pie minute.
I kinda love how caramel sputters and spurts in a crazy almost-boiling-over madness. I feel like a weird-scientist when I’m making it.
I made this with a classic pate brisee crust but you could switch it out to the ever-easy graham cracker crust and you’d be just fine, if you’re feeling anti-pie-dough. I also love the added texture of a graham cracker crust in a cream pie. Or, go grocery-store-frozen-pie-shell – there’s no judgement when the hankering for cream pie is nigh! I wanted to add toasted coconut curls to this but the grocery store was out – another nice addition for a little textured crunch! Just add the toasted coconut right before serving so it stays crunchy.
Banana coconut cream pie with salted caramel
For the pie crust
- 21/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons granulated white sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed
For the filling
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
- 2 medium bananas, firm and just ripe (not speckled/mushy!)
For the whipped cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 5 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the salted caramel
- 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Make the crust
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt, pulsing for a few seconds to combine.
- Add the cold butter, and pulse until mixture comes together enough to still have large pieces of butter – a few seconds.
- With the machine running, slowly add the ice water through the feed tube in a steady stream, until dough barely holds together. Pieces of butter should still be visible and dough might seem a bit crumbly, but do not add too much water – 15-20 seconds.
- If dough doesn’t hold together and is too crumbly, add an extra tablespoon of cold water and pulse for a few seconds.
- Tear off a large, long piece of plastic wrap and place on your work surface.
- Carefully place half of the dough onto the plastic wrap, forming it loosely and lightly into a flattened disk of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap.
- Do the same with the second half of dough, and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour or overnight.
- Remove the dough disk from the fridge; on a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 12 inch round, a bit less than 1/4 inch thick.
- Place dough into a 9 inch pie plate, pressing gently. Trim off overhang, and crimp pie dough edge with a fork (or a classier pattern!)
- Prick the dough all over with a fork, and brush with beaten egg, if using.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Freeze pie shell until firm, about 20 minutes.
- Line chilled pie shell with parchment paper and blind-bake using pie weights, rice or dried beans.
- Bake pie shell for about 15-20 minutes, then remove the pie weights, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for another 15-20 minutes until golden.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely before filling.
Make the filling
- In a medium bowl, gently whisk the egg yolks and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the coconut milk, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Bring to a friendly simmer (do not boil) and cook, whisking intermittently, 3-4 minutes.
- Whisk a quarter of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks.
- Add the remaining hot milk mixture, whisking constantly to avoid any “cooked egg yolk situation.”
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until a custard forms. It will thicken quite a bit and there will be bubbles – about 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer filling to a clean medium bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic against the filling to avoid a “skin” forming (gross but true.)
- Power-chill the mixture in the freezer for 30-45 minutes until cooled.
- Slice two just-ripe bananas and layer them in the bottom of the pie shell – the bananas also help the crust stay crisp, acting as a barrier between the pudding and the shell.
- Once the pudding is cooled, pour the mixture on top of the banana slices.
- You may have some leftover but it makes a perfect pudding snack for your next snack attack.
Make the whipped cream
- Place the metal bowl and whisk attachment of a stand mixer in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill.
- Attach metal bowl to base and attach whisk.
- Place heavy cream, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of the stand mixer and whisk until soft peaks form.
- Dollop on top of the coconut filling and use an offset spatula to spread whipped cream to the edges. Or, use a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip to pipe happy little whipped cream stars all over the pie.
- Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 1 hour before serving.
Make the salted caramel
- Place the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan, stirring to combine.
- Heat over high heat, swirling the pan, until the sugar turns a medium golden amber colour – 8-10 minutes.
- You don’t want it to get too dark as it takes on a burnt flavour (which many people like!) so remove from heat once you’ve gotten to medium golden amber.
- Very slowly, add the cream in a slow stream, whisking at the same time – be careful as the mixture will bubble up, but soon calm down.
- Add the butter, salt and vanilla, stirring to combine.
- The caramel will thicken as it cools – you can speed the thickening process by refrigerating it or power-chilling it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Once it’s completely cool, have it on standby to drizzle over slices of pie as it’s being cut. Yeah boyeeee.