I’ve got a great recipe for an easy-to-make banana cream pie. The truth is I love a good pie but my gluten-free body needs a few alterations – like gluten-free graham crackers and ghee butter.
A sprinkle of nutmeg, cane sugar, and some cinnamon will add new flavors to the party and delight your taste buds.
While banana cream pie is typically served as a spring/summer favorite, it’s actually a great dessert to eat year-round. But before we dive into the recipe, here are some fun facts about bananas and cream pie so you’ll be prepared for your next trivia night.
Banana and banana cream pie trivia
Do you know where the banana cream pie originated?
If you guessed the tropics you would be wrong. Surprisingly it’s believed to have come from the American Midwest. Before the 19th century, bananas were considered to be an exotic fruit due to the difficulty of bringing them into the states.
Today the average American eats around 80 bananas a year. Bananas are so popular that they’ve been given a national banana holiday. This recipe for banana cream pie might just be the perfect way to celebrate March 2, National Banana Day.
The banana has dropped its exotic status, is the easiest fruit to find at the store, and is now considered the number one fruit in the US.
But what about cream pies? Are they as popular as the banana?
Cream pies are not just a popular dessert, they are also a prop. Back in the 1920’s vaudeville, the silent films transformed cream pies into a guaranteed laugh.
The first cream pie thrown is believed to have happened in 1913. But it wasn’t until 1927 when Laurel and Hardy’s short, “The Battle of the Century ” had 3,000 pies soar through the air. It was the pie fight to end all pie fights, or in this case to begin all pie fights. Since then everyone from Bugs Bunny to The Three Stooges has thrown a pie in someone’s direction.
The real question is, have you? And if yes, at who?
How Do You Keep Bananas From Turning Brown In A Banana Cream Pie?
One of the struggles of working with bananas is how quickly they go brown. This can be frustrating when baking.
How do you stop the bananas from turning brown before you can eat the pie? Well, we have to get into a bit of science to figure that out.
Banana slices turn brown as a result of being exposed to the oxygen in the air that causes them to oxidate. That doesn’t mean they are bad for you to eat though, just not so pretty to look at. However, you don’t want your guests seeing brown bananas in your pie so there are a few tricks you should know to prevent this from happening.
The trick to keeping your bananas from turning brown in your pie is first to pick out the right bananas. You want firm, just-barely ripe bananas. The bananas should not have any green on them but also should not have too many brown flecks.
If you do not plan on using your bananas right away, buy ones that are a bit more green so they will last longer before you use them.
You can also wrap the top stem of the banana bunch in tin foil where all the bananas are connected to prevent the ethylene gas that naturally occurs in the fruit from releasing, hence slowing down the ripening process and browning.
Treating the bananas with citrus juices like lemon, orange, or pineapple will prevent the bananas from browning. However, a little goes a long way. If you use too much you will change the flavor of the pie. Just brush the slices lightly or use a spray bottle to spritz them down. Some have also had some success spritzing their banana slices with plain soda water. Don’t use flavored soda water like Sprite because the sugars in the soda will change the flavor of the pie.
Now that you are fully prepped for banana and pie trivia night, let’s start baking!
Recipe for Easy Gluten-Free Banana Cream Pie
First, gather your ingredients:
4 small bananas
2 packages of gluten-free graham crackers
1/4 cup ghee butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
A sprinkle of nutmeg
2 tbsp gluten-free flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 tsp ghee butter
1 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a round pie pan with ghee butter. Place your gluten free graham crackers along the bottom and side of the pan.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar. Add sliced bananas, cinnamon, and nutmeg and sauté until soft.
Remove from heat and set aside.
Next, you’ll make the pudding center of the pie. In a small saucepan add milk, flour, vanilla, and half of the sugar. Stir until well incorporated.
Turn the heat to low and continue to stir. Add one egg and two egg yolks. Stir vigorously to prevent the eggs from cooking. Once the mixture thickens, remove the pudding from heat and set it aside.
In a bowl add the two egg whites and sugar. Beat until a meringue forms.
Pour the banana mixture into the pie pan, over the graham crackers, and then spread the remaining graham crackers on top of the bananas.
Next, you’ll spread the pudding layer evenly over the graham crackers.
Top with the meringue.
Bake for 20-25 mins.
Banana cream pie is best served the same day you make it but it will keep in the refrigerator for a few days. How long depends on your bananas and how fast they brown.
On average, the pie will last three to four days covered loosely in the fridge (not in my house though because it gets eaten too fast).
You can also freeze a banana Cream Pie for up to 2 months. Once completely cooled wrap the pie in plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil.
To serve the pie cut a slice to enjoy all on its own. If you’re dressing the pie up for a party, or for yourself, try a touch of gluten-free chocolate shavings or a dusting of crushed gluten free cookies. If you do add toppings it’s best to wait till the piece has been cut and platted before adding the garnish.
Just remember, if you’re baking for a friend who is gluten free, even a small garnish that has gluten in it will ruin the dish and make it so they can not eat it.
Personally, I like eating it once it has chilled a bit in the refrigerator. No toppings for me. The pie is perfect just as it is.
Gluten-free dessert does not mean bland or gross. I’m always experimenting in the kitchen and discovering new delicious and gluten-free recipes every week. Keep coming back. You never know what fun thing I’ll be baking next!