Chocolate, peanut butter and banana are a three way match made in heaven. It’s like they were destined to be together forever in perfect harmony, and it’s definitely a flavor combination I can live with forever and ever without any complaints. My question to you is simple; how do you take a classic banana cream pie — a beloved pie that will always be held with much esteem by many people — and make it even better? If your answer to my question is to reinvent said banana pie with the addition of chocolate and peanut butter, then you’re 100 percent correct. You win at this thing called life. Chocolate crust with a layer of dark chocolate ganache filled with vanilla pudding and fresh banana slices, then topped with a fluffy peanut butter whipped cream and sprinkled with chopped honey roasted peanuts and chocolate shavings…no, you’re not imagining this, it’s actually a reality. You don’t have to pinch yourself because you’re already awake. It’s a dream come true and a must on your summer to-make list. It’s rich pie that will knock you out. Make it this week and share with your family and friends. They’ll be forever in your debt and that’s an advantage you can keep up your sleeve until the most opportune moment.
Let’s work on the crust first. This is a simple chocolate cookie crust. So pulse the chocolate sandwich cookies (filling and all) in a food processor until finely chopped and resembles fine crumbs. Then add in the melted butter and pulse until just combined. Dump out onto a greased 9-inch pie plate and press down onto the bottom and up the sides. Bake for about 10 minutes to set the crust. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
**Note: Make sure the crust is completely cooled before adding in the filling. If you want to speed things up, you can place it in the fridge or freezer to make it cool faster.**
So this is a chocolate peanut butter banana cream pie, and a chocolate crust just isn’t enough chocolate. So we’re going to make a chocolate ganache layer to amp up the chocolate of this dessert. Pour heated cream over chocolate and let sit for a bit before stirring until melted through.
**Note: Let the chocolate sit at room temperature while you make the other components of the pie. Allowing it to sit will make the ganache thicken.**
Let’s make the filling for the pie which is just a traditional banana cream pie pudding filling. So in a medium saucepan combine the flour, sugar and salt.
Slowly whisk in the milk and warm through over medium heat. Then temper the egg yolks and continue to cook until the pudding thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract.
**Tip: To temper the egg yolks, slowly whisk in a bit of the warmed milk mixture into the eggs, then pour the egg mixture into the milk mixture. This will ensure that the eggs don’t scramble when you add them to the pudding.**
The pudding needs to cool down a lot before adding it into the crust. So in order to speed this up, I pour the mixture into a bowl and then place the bowl into another bowl that has been filled with water and ice. So if you place that bowl into the ice bath bowl, whisk the pudding and it’ll cool down the pudding fast.
Spread the thickened ganache into the cooled crust into an even layer. Then pour half of the pudding over that and sprinkle with banana slices and then top with the remaining pudding. THIS IS MAGIC I TELL YOU. Cover the the directly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours.
The peanut butter comes from the peanut butter whipped cream where about to make. This wouldn’t be a banana cream pie without the cream. So in order to make this happen, beat together the butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla until fluffy. Then whisk in the heavy cream until super light and fluffy.
Spoon the peanut butter whipped cream on top of the chilled pie and then spread out with a small offset spatula or a butter knife. You want to create swirls or peaks with the knife to give it a decorative top.
**Tip: If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can transfer the whipped cream into a piping bag and pipe out the cream on top of the pie. It’ll make it look a bit more uniform, if you’re into that!**
Garnish the top of the pie with a sprinkling of chopped honey roasted peanuts and shaved dark or bittersweet chocolate. I like doing this for a crunch from all the fluffiness from the filling and whipped cream, but I also like to add it because it tells people exactly what the pie is, peanut butter and chocolate. You can also sprinkle dried banana chips if you’d like.
**Note: To get the chocolate shavings, I take a dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate bar and I shave it with a vegetable peeler. To get those perfect curls, I place the palm of my hand on the edge of the chocolate bar to warm it up slightly and then I shave it.**
The pie needs to be chilled for a bit before you can slice it cleanly and serve it. So after I top it with the whipped cream, and garnish with the peanuts and chocolate, I let it chill for about 30 minutes or an hour. It’ll make it easier to slice smoothly and keep the slices in tact.
The pie is best when eaten the day you make it because you want the bananas to stay as yellow as possible, so just keep in mind that the longer the pie sits in the fridge, the higher chance they’ll get brown (especially after you slice it). Not to say that you can’t keep the leftovers because you can. Just wrap it in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
If you want to prep some of the components of this pie ahead of time, here’s how to go about it: Make the crust the day before and keep it stored in the fridge. You can also make the ganache ahead of time, keep it in the fridge up for to 3 days and then just let it come to room temperature for about 1 hour before you plan on assembling the pie. You can also make the pudding ahead of time and keep it in the fridge as well. Then you bring all the components together on the day you plan on serving it.
This is a summer pie to end all summer pies. Sure, it’s not filled with stone fruit or summer berries, but a banana cream pie with notes of chocolate and peanut butter…that screams summer to me and no one can tell me otherwise. Go on and keep this up your sleeve the next time you’re in need of the ULTIMATE pie to make when you’re feeling like nothing else will help. It’s got your name written all over it.
- 18 chocolate sandwich cookies
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 6 ounces chocolate chips
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 medium firm bananas, sliced
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped honey roasted peanuts, for garnish
- 2 tablespoons shaved chocolate, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
- Place the cookies in a food processor and pulse until it resembles fine crumbs. Add in the melted butter and pulse until just combined. Dump the mixture into the prepared pie plate and press down onto the bottom and up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool completely.
- To make the ganache, gently warm the cream in a small saucepan until little bubbles form around the edges. Place the chocolate into a small bowl and pour the heated cream over the top. Allow to sit for 10 minutes without stirring, then whisk until smooth and the chocolate has completely melted. Let sit at room temperature until ready to use. It'll thicken somewhat, which is what you want.
- To make the filling, whisk the sugar, flour and salt, in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in the milk until smooth. Set over medium heat and cook until warmed through, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl, and slowly whisk in a bit of the warmed milk mixture to temper the egg yolks. Then pour the egg yolk mixture into the saucepan with the milk. Return to the heat and cook, stirring often, until the mixture thickens and comes up to a bubble, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Transfer to a bowl, and place the bowl into a larger bowl filled halfway with water and ice. Whisk the pudding to cool it down somewhat. Set aside.
- Pour the thickened ganache into the cooled crust and spread into an even layer. Place in the freezer and chill for about 10 minutes to firm the ganache somewhat. Then pour half of the pudding over the ganache and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the sliced bananas over the top and then pour the remaining pudding over that and spread evenly. Cover the top directly with plastic wrap and chill until the pie has set, about 4 hours.
- To make the frosting, beat the butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar, salt and vanilla on high until the mixture is thick and well combined. Pour in the heavy cream and whisk on high until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Spoon the whipped cream over the cooled pie and spread out, making swirls, with an offset spatula or butter knife. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and chocolate. Slice and serve. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. Enjoy!