My Grandma Rose made the very best banana cream pie…you can believe me when I say this because I am a true pie lover for as long as I can remember. Berry pies, apple pies, pumpkin pie and my all time favorite: Grandma’s Banana Cream Pie. The very thought of her pie makes me both sentimental and hungry! The thought of her in her immaculate white kitchen putting together the custard filling, whipping up the merangue, the aroma of this wonderful confection as it baked filled her home! That first forkful of creamy custard covering the sweet bananas and finished off with a topping of sweetened merangue…mmmmm! However, as delicious as this pie was, it was equally as calorie laden. I mean, back in Grandma’s day, there really just wasn’t any such thing as eating light! Everything was made with heavy cream, lots of butter and shortening, and white sugar! I have reinvented her pie into a lighter version using skim milk and just a touch of cane sugar. The sweetness of the ripe bananas make up for the lack of sugar; I only used 1/8 cup for the custard filling and one teaspoon to add a touch of sweetness to the merangue. This pie is a tad time consuming, figure about 45 to 50 minutes, probably not something you want to dive into after a long day at work Try this on a Saturday or Sunday and surprise your family with a gorgeous, delicious banana dessert! They will thank you! Serves 6 to 8.
Lighter Banana Cream Pie
One 9″ Baked Pie Crust
1/8 cup plus 1 Teaspoon Cane Sugar
1/8 Cup Cornstarch
2 1/2 Cups Skim Milk
3 Eggs, separated
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
3 Large Ripe Bananas
1/4 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare and bake the pie shell; let cool.
Mix the 1/8 cup of cane sugar and cornstarch in a 2 qt. saucepan. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and boils.
Separate eggs; place yolks in a small bowl and place whites in a large metal bowl for the merangue later. Stir two or three tablespoons of hot mixture into the egg yolks. Pour the yolks back into the milk mixture. Stir in the vanilla and butter. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly, for one minute. Set aside.
Peel and slice the bananas. Arrange in the cooled pie crust. Evenly pour the custard over the bananas.
Prepare the merangue. (Hint-always use clean, dry beaters and a metal or glass bowl, not plastic, for a successful merangue). Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites. Beat on high until soft peaks form. Add the 1 teaspoon of cane sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Spoon the merangue evenly over the custard filling.
Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until merangue is nicely browned.
Let cool and refrigerate several hours.
Serves 6 to 8