Banana Cream Pie

I had decided to make a chocolate cream pie recipe that I had come across (see above) and for some reason that made me want to also make banana cream pie. I didn't think one pie would be enough for everyone coming to Sunday dinner, so I decided on two different types. This is a pretty standard recipe --- just make a vanilla pudding base and add bananas! I really think the crust made it so be sure to try out that recipe.

9" pie crust, baked & cooled (see recipe below)

1/4 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
1 TBS. butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 bananas

Mix the cornstarch, sugar and salt together in a medium-sized saucepan. Slowly pour in the milk, combining well. Stir over medium heat until it begins to thicken. Bring to a boil and stir at a low boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Whisk half of the hot milk mixture into the 2 eggs. Mix well. Pour this back into the remaining milk mixture and return to heat. Stir constantly and boil again for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Stir in butter and vanilla. Pour half of the filling into a prepared pie crust. Slice the bananas evenly over the top. Spoon remaining filling over the bananas. Press wax paper to the top to prevent a skin from forming. Cool and top with whipped cream.

BEST Pie Crust (from the Barefoot Contessa)

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) ice water

Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan.

Prick bottom and side of shell all over with a fork, then chill shell 30 minutes (I skipped this step due to lack of time and had not problems). While shell chills, preheat oven to 375°F with a baking sheet on middle rack. Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights.

Bake on baking sheet until pastry is set and edge is pale golden, about 25 minutes. Carefully remove weights and foil, then bake shell on baking sheet until pale golden all over, 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool shell.

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