Banana and Toasted Almond Cream Pie
  • 1 basic pie crust recipe
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 3 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2 medium bananas, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp confectioners sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare crust for a 9 inch pie pan. Pierce dough few times with a fork, and bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely on a wire cake rack. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
  2. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool completely.
  3. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, mix 2/3 cup of the sugar the cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in about 1/2 cup of the half-and-half to dissolve the cornstarch. Stir in the remaining 2 cups half-and-half and the egg yolks.
  4. Stirring constantly with a wooden spatula, bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in 1/2 tsp each of the vanilla and almond extracts. Pour filling into a bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling. Pierce a few holes in the wrap with the tip of the knife to let the steam escape. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
  5. Spread about 1/2 cup of the filling into the cooled pie shell. Cover with the banana slices, then spread with the remaining filling. Cover the filling with another piece of plastic wrap and let cool completely. I added another layer of bananas.
  6. In a chilled medium bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the cream, confectioners sugar and the remaining 1/4 tsp each vanilla and almond extracts just until stiff. Remove the plastic wrap from pie and spread beaten cream over the filling. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve chilled.
I am a huge fan of Patti LaBelle's cookbook LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About. All the recipes in there are to die for, including what I consider the best macaroni and cheese. If you don't have it and want some real down home cooking, I highly recommend. The recipe was easy to follow and worked out well.