What are some of your favorite ingredient combinations? Naturally, there are some ingredients that just go perfectly together such as peanut butter and jelly. Another tasty pairing is chocolate and peanut butter. But for me, almost anything with caramel will have my vote. There’s caramel and chocolate, caramel and apples, and even caramel and bananas. No? Not familiar with that combination? Well, I assure you it’s an amazing concoction, deliciously displayed in this Caramel Banana Pie with Shortbread Pecan Crust. A buttery pecan crust holds a creamy, smooth filling made with a caramel banana sauce and custard. It’s an amazing variation of a banana cream pie that’s sure to impress!
This pie was shared at a recent dessert event with friends. Probably one of the biggest pie fans I know, Jenny, prepared this pie and it was outstanding. I’ve had caramel and banana together before but this pie takes to a new level. She adapted a banana pudding recipe to create this pie and paired it with a crust recipe from another source. Together, it’s a great combination and super easy to make. In fact, the pie only requires 15 minutes of bake time for the crust. However, the hard part is waiting 4 hours for the pie to set up in the refrigerator. This would be a great pie to prepare the night before and serve the next day…
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of salt
6 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
2 medium to large bananas, ripened so the skins are fully browned
1¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon milk, divided (I used 1%)
½ cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¼ teaspoon vanilla
sweetened whipped cream, whole pecans
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.
For the crust, combine flour, pecans, ¼ cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Pour in melted butter; stir until combined. Press onto bottom and up sides of prepared pie plate. Bake crust 15 minutes or until golden brown. Do not overbake. Cool completely.
For the caramel, combine 1 cup sugar and water in medium heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Do not stir. When mixture is golden, gently swirl pan to evenly distribute. Reduce heat to medium-high. Remove from heat when color is deep golden brown.
Meanwhile, purée bananas until they are the consistency of pancake batter. When the caramel has reached a deep golden brown color, slowly pour in puréed bananas, whisking constantly. Reserve ½ cup mixture in heatproof measuring cup; set aside to cool. Pour remaining banana caramel in small heatproof bowl; set aside to cool. Clean saucepan.
For the filling, combine 1 cup milk and cream in cleaned saucepan; bring to a boil over low heat. Meanwhile, combine remaining ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon milk and cornstarch in medium bowl; whisk until well blended. Whisk in eggs, 6 tablespoons sugar and salt until well blended. Slowly pour in milk mixture; whisking constantly, until fully incorporated. Pour mixture back into saucepan. Clean bowl.
Return saucepan to heat; increase heat to medium-low. Add butter, whisking until incorporated. Continue whisking until mixture is thickened and coats back of spoon.
Remove from heat; pour mixture into cleaned bowl. Stir in vanilla and reserved ½ cup banana caramel; stir gently until fully incorporated. Pour into cooled crust. Press plastic wrap onto surface to prevent skin from forming. Refrigerate 4 hours. Refrigerate remaining banana caramel for another use.*
Prepare sweetened whipped cream; pipe along edge of pie. Decorate with pecans.
*There’s enough for two more pies. Or leave some out at room temperature and use to drizzle over individual slices. The caramel itself is amazing!