Banana cream pie nestled into a chocolate sable cookie crust, topped with freshly whipped cream and butter toffee.
It should shock none of you that I loves me some pie. I’m not all that particular about that obsession either. Savory pies, fruit pies, cream pies, fruit and cream pies -I adore them all! Me and Pie are totally BFF.
One of the cool things that years of being a food blogger has brought me is the discovery that Pie Girls tend to find each other via cyberspace. My sister-from-another-mister, Jeanne, makes some downright drool-worthy pies in her own right. Jeanne changed my life when she taught me the fine art of frying pies in real life. Fried pies, y’all!
Another blog friend, the wicked-smart Jenni Field of Pastry Chef Online makes herself continually available to all over social media. Jenni is such a sweet mix of talent and approachability that we became fast friends. As a trained pastry chef, she doesn’t believe in secret recipes or food snobbery of any kind. In fact, Jenni regularly encourages her fans to be more Fearless in the Kitchen. It was in that pursuit of fearlessness in which Jenni threw down a Chocolate Sable Tart Challenge, complete with wild west music and staged gunfire!
Maybe I’m embellishing a tad on the theatrics, but Jenni really did ask her friends/fans to bake and fill her Chocolate Sable Tart Dough with something delicious to share.
Sable is French for sand, meaning that the dough has a crumbly, cookie-like texture that is similar to shortbread. If you can make cookies, you can totally make this pie crust.
I knew immediately that Jenni’s chocolate sable tart dough was practically begging to cradle banana cream pie filling. Being a pastry chef, Jenni is very science-y and technical when it comes to baking. I love that about her. However, I know that not many of my readers want to bother with a kitchen scale. So, when writing the rest of the recipe, I thought it best to convert the weighted measures to the customary US measurements. I tweaked Jenni’s method just a bit too, because I’m a rebel like that.
My filling with Jenni’s adapted crust recipe (with her blessing). Amen.
The resulting Chocolate Crust Banana Cream Pie is probably the best that I’ve ever eaten.
The chocolate cookie crust is not overly rich, making it the perfect platform to showcase the sweet vanilla pastry cream with ripe bananas folded inside. I then topped the pie with barely sweetened, freshly whipped cream, and a smattering of crushed toffee bits.
Holy cow! This is some seriously good pie, Friends! The banana flavor really shines through the custard filling, which is further complimented by the whipped cream. The toffee garnish gives the whole affair the slight bite of a banofee pie, without being too much. You need this pie in your life!
Cook’s Notes: Please know that there’s no need to be a hero here! Just as I made the crust recipe a little easier by converting the weighted measures, I have to say that if making homemade pastry cream or pudding isn’t your thing, then a good cook & serve vanilla pudding will do just fine. Do what works for you, so long as it gets you making this pie.
My Impression: I love this pie more than I ever thought possible. While I like a good banana cream pie every once in awhile, they’re usually too rich for me to regularly enjoy. The balance of flavors in this pie between the chocolate crust, sweet custard filling, and the whipped cream and toffee is heavenly.
Family Impression: Even my picky eaters devoured their slice of pie.
Bacon Slayer says chocolate crust banana cream pie is perfect with a strong cup of coffee in the morning.
Yields 9-inch pie
Sable crust adapted from Jenni Field's Pastry Chef Online . Gorgeous banana cream pie nestled in a chocolate cookie crust, topped with freshly whipped cream and butter toffee.
Prep Time: 1 hour, plus 3 hours total freeze and chill time, Cook Time: 40 minutes, Total Time: 4 hours, 40 minutes
4 hrPrep Time
40 minCook Time
4 hr, 40 Total Time
- 1 1/3 C. all purpose flour
- 1/3 C. granulated sugar
- 1/3 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. instant espresso powder
- 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
- 11 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 whole egg, divided
- ½ Tbs. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbs. Half & Half or heavy whipping cream
- 1 Tbs. cold water (for the egg wash)
- 3 C. vanilla pastry cream or prepared vanilla pudding, chilled
- 2 large ripe bananas (about 2 cups), peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 C. sweetened whipped cream, freshly whipped
- ½ C. chocolate covered butter toffee , chopped
- Prepare the crust by whisking together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, instant espresso powder, and salt together in a large bowl until combined. Add the softened butter, mixing on medium-low speed until fully blended and the dough is very crumbly.
- Separate the egg yolk from the white. Place the egg white in a small bowl and set it aside. Add the egg yolk along with the vanilla extract to the crumbly dough. Mix the yolk and extract into the dough to incorporate. With the mixer running, slowly add the half & half, stirring until the dough comes together in a large ball.
- Transfer the dough to a deep dish pie pan or tart pan with removable bottom. Carefully press the dough evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. (Using the backs of your knuckles works well to snugly fit the dough into the corners of the pan.) Lightly prick the bottom and sides of the dough all over with a paring knife. “Docking” the dough in this manner will help keep it from puffing out of shape in the oven. Freeze the dough lined pie plate for 2 hours.
- While the dough is in the freezer, prepare the filling and topping ingredients. Fold the sliced bananas into the pastry cream (or pudding). Cover the banana pudding with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove the pie dough from the freezer. Place a double layer of aluminum foil over the dough. Place pie weights or 2 cups of dried beans over the foil. Blind bake the crust for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust no longer sticks to the foil when attempting to remove it.
- After the initial 20 minutes in the oven, grab an edge of the aluminum foil and pull it up slightly. If the crust is not sticking to the foil, then firmly grab the foil on all sides and remove it along with the pie weights. Please note that this crust dough is very soft—much like shortbread—some of the dough may stick to the foil. If an excessive amount of dough is sticking, continue baking the tart for another 5 minutes and try again.
- Upon removal of the pie weights, continue to bake the crust for an additional 10 to 13 minutes, or until the surface appears dry but not cracked. Whisk 1 tablespoon of cold water into the reserved egg white. Lightly brush the interior of the crust with the egg wash. Return the crust to the oven and bake for another 2 minutes.
- Remove the crust from the oven and cool completely before filling.
- Once the crust has cooled, spoon the banana pudding mixture into it, leveling it with the back of the spoon. Spread the whipped cream over the pudding. Sprinkle the toffee over the whipped cream.
- Chill the assembled pie for one hour prior to serving.
For a more dramatic presentation, bake the pie in a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Line the bottom of the tart pan with a circle of parchment paper, and spray the interior sides and bottom well with baking spray prior to using. Cool the tart crust in the pan, and then gently run a knife around the perimeter to loosen it prior to removing the shell from the pan. I find it easier to assemble the pie before removing it from a tart pan.
The crust dough is fragile while it bakes, which is what makes it so wonderful after baking. Do not be discouraged if the crust initially sticks when attempting to remove the pie weights; just follow the instructions and allow additional baking time when needed. Place any small bits of dough that may have adhered to the foil back on the crust and continue the recipe as directed.
To apply the whipped cream as shown in the photo, spoon the whipped cream into large zippered storage bag. Squeeze the cream toward a bottom corner of the bag. Snip the bottom corner off the bag, and squeeze the whipped cream through the opening and onto the pie in a free form design.
beate weiss-krull (@Beatepdx) says
The Food Hunter says
Marjory @ Dinner-Mom says
Anita Chu says
BaconSlayer, The says
Cookin Canuck says
Brenda@Sugar-Free Mom says
Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
Jenni Field (@PastryChfOnline) says
Mary Grace says