The Best Banana Cream Pie EVER

 Happy National Pi Day!!! To celebrate I thought I would share what pie means in this family. I didn't know how important pie was going to be in my life until I married my husband. It turns out his mom is the Pie Queen. For the last couple of decades she has gone all out for Thanksgiving baking all the yummiest pies for the entire family. Lemon Meringue, Pumpkin, Peach, Pumpkin Pecan, Strawberry Rhubarb, Pecan, Triple Berry, Peach Cream, Sweet Potato, Orange Cream, Chocolate Cream, Key Lime!

Now she doesn't do ALL of these flavors every time but she usually does about 10 pies total every Thanksgiving! So when I joined the family I had to learn how to make them too and I'm so glad I know how!

Now my own family has adopted the same tradition of having 5-10 different pies to sample. It's perfect because we have lots of left over pie to go with our leftover Thanksgiving food. Also to make pie shakes.  Yes, pie shakes! Throw a whole slice of pumpkin pie with a few scoops of vanilla ice cream and milk in you blender and thank me later ;)

But the most famous flavor and by far my husbands (and I think mine now!) favorite is the Banana Cream.

It's so simple in its components but so yummy!!! Crust, cream, bananas and cream. Don't mess with that!!! (Except I drizzled caramel on mine and I don't regret it). Below I've given you the beloved recipe and I've added some variations you can do but get creative with it - see above Peach cream, chocolate orange, orange - there's lots of yummy flavors that go with this delicious cream. It surely is a labor of love, but it's sooooo worth it! Enjoy!

Cook time: 10-20 minutes
Chill time: 3 to 4 hours

Basic Cream Pie
(makes filling for 2 pies)

5 TBS Cornstarch
1 C Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
2 1/2 C Milk
3/4 C Half and Half Cream
3 Egg Yolks
2 TBS Butter
1 tsp Vanilla
1 C Whipping Cream
2 Baked 9-inch Pie Shells

Mix cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a 3-quart saucepan. Add milk and cream and cook over medium heat until smooth and thick, stirring constantly. Pour small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks; blend thoroughly, then pour back into saucepan. Cook another 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.

Pour cream mixture into pie shell, place a sheet of wax paper on top to prevent "skin" from forming and let cool completely in fridge (3 to 4 hours). After cool slice 2 to 3 bananas over the top of the cream. Whip the remaining cream until fluffy and spread over the top of the bananas and serve! For an extra yummy and pretty topping drizzle caramel sauce over the top!

Add 1/2 cup melted chocolate chips to mixture and stir until combined. Pour into pie shells and place wax paper over pie to prevent "skin" from forming. Chill 3 to 4 hours in the fridge. Once cooled whip the remaining cream until fluffy and spread over the top. Serve and enjoy! For a pretty and simple garnish sprinkle mini chocolate chips over the whipped cream.

Add 1/2 cup coconut (toasted if desired) to pie filling. Pour into baked shell and add a sheet of wax paper on top to prevent "skin" from forming. Chill 3 to 4 hours in refrigerator. When ready to serve whip remaining cream until fluffy and spread over the top of the filling. Sprinkle extra coconut over the top for a yummy garnish!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and please let me know if you try it! What's your favorite pie flavor???

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