Banana Split Pie: Improv Challenge

A little over a year ago, I went on a banana craze.  It all began innocently one night with a banana cream pie blizzard.  Normally I always stuck to my traditional choice of Reese’s blizzard when we visited DQ, but I was feeling adventurous and was enticed by the idea of soft serve ice cream mixed with pie crust and topped with whipped cream.  (Who else wants a blizzard now?)

With one bite, it was all over.  I wanted all food to have some kind of banana flavor: I ate banana tootsie pops, banana pancakes, banana cookies, banana bread, peanut butter on bananas, banana cream pie, banana pudding, and of course more banana cream blizzards.  Basically, I was banana crazy, a dark but delicious time.  Eventually, my dire need to eat bananas fizzled out, but my love for banana desserts has remained.

When I moved to Lubbock and began looking for apartments, I happened to stop by a little lunch place because I wanted a slice of pie before heading out of town.  I saw an amazing pie in the display: a banana split pie.  After almost passing it by, I ordered it in addition to my traditional favorite key lime pie after enlisting some help to eat both slices.  One of my top decisions.

This pie was a life changer: sweet, salty, and full of banana flavor.  The combination in this pie is better than the traditional form of banana splits.  I had to try making this myself, and after looking and not finding any recipes like the one I ate, I went to the drawing board to see what I could come up with myself.  This recipe is a little time intensive, but so worth it.  The flavors are dead on and perfect way for everyone, even those who don’t live in Lubbock, to have a little slice of Banana Split Pie.

I wonder if there is a record for the number of times having the word banana in a blog post.  I may be a contender for the title.

From Cinnamon Freud
Banana Pastry Cream Slightly Adapted from Cooks Country

For the Banana Pastry Cream:
2 bananas, 1/2 inch slices
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 1/2 cups half and half
6 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar (about 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg, grated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

For the Crust:
1 cup crushed pretzels
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

For the Pie Fillings:
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped pineapple
1 cup chopped strawberries
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar

For Topping:
Chocolate shavings
Toasted walnuts, chopped
Maraschino cherries


For the Banana Pastry Cream:

In a large saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat.  Add bananas and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes.  Add half and half and bring to a boil.  Boil for 30 seconds.  Remove from heat.  Cover and let sit for 40 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks, salt, and sugar together until smooth.  Whisk in cornstarch and nutmeg.  Pour banana liquid through a strainer into the bowl. Do not press on the bananas; discard bananas.

Whisk together and transfer to a clean medium saucepan over medium heat.  Cook until thickened like pudding, about 6-8 minutes, until mixture reaches 180°F while whisking constantly.  As the mixture thickens, clumps may form; whisk vigorously to prevent.  Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and 3 tablespoons butter.  Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Chill for at least one hour or overnight.

For the Crust:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 9 inch pie pan.

In a bowl mix together crushed pretzels, sugar, and butter.  Press into the bottom of the pie pan.  Bake 10-12 minutes, until fragrant.  Cool completely.

For the Pie Fillings:

Heat a large skillet over medium heat  Melt 1-2 tablespoons butter.  Add strawberries and pineapple, cooking for 4-5 minutes.  Add light brown sugar and cook for 4-5 minutes, until fruit has softened. Let cool.  Strain off any excess liquid.

In a large bowl beat heavy cream until soft peaks form.  Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until peaks stiffen slightly and mixture resembles whipped cream.  Set aside.

Whisk banana pastry cream slightly.  Spread onto pretzel crust.  Spoon fruit topping on top of pasty cream.  Pipe whipped cream on top.  Chill in fridge to set, at least 60 minutes. Garnish with chocolate shavings, toasted walnuts, and maraschino cherries.

Check out the other submissions for this month’s Improv Challenge for Bananas & Nutmeg at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker!



4 thoughts on “Banana Split Pie: Improv Challenge

  1. Lisa~~ says:

    Your pastry cream sounds wonderful and I love that you used pretzels in the crust, sounds & looks delicious.My Improv Cooking Challenge entry this month: Baked Bananas, hope that you'll stop over and check the recipe out.Lisa~~

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