Coconut banana cream pie has a thick custard base, packed with the tropical taste of coconut and roasted bananas!
This coconut banana cream pie has truly been a labor of love. For my first attempt at this banana cream pie, I roasted 5 bananas. This yielded a filling that was bursting with banana flavor, but after mixing the bananas into the custard, the filling was left looking gray and dull. The color looked more like cement than pie, to tell the truth. If the pie doesn’t LOOK good, then who cares about the flavor, right? I wanted a pie that looked like this Coconut cream pie, not cement!
I reworked the recipe and made another attempt. This time, I only used three bananas and I layered them in the pie instead of mixing them into the filling. The color was perfect and the filling still tasted delicious but my crust totally fell apart. My pie pieces came out looking more like cobbler than pie. Once again, I was left with an ugly looking pie.
I reworked the recipe yet again and finally came up with THE perfect coconut banana cream pie. The custard was thick and rich with lots of coconut flavor, the roasted bananas were soft and sweet, the crust came out perfect and in tact, and the homemade whipped cream was light and fluffy. Each component worked like they should and together they made something amazing. I suppose the third time really is the charm. And now let me share what I learned with you!
Notes about the coconut banana cream pie recipe:
- The graham cracker crust is one of the easiest crusts to make. I used a combination of graham cracker crumbs, sugar, toasted coconut and melted butter. I love the crunchy texture and nutty taste the toasted coconut gives the crust. Sure you could leave it out if you prefer, but I highly recommend you try it. It lends a little something extra that really unifies all the flavors of this pie.
- To toast coconut, spread your coconut in an even layer on a baking sheet. Place baking sheet in a 325 degree oven. Toast your coconut for about 15 minutes, taking care to stir coconut every 3-5 minutes. Coconut burns very quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on it. You want a golden brown color. I often make extra to keep on hand.
- After crust has been assembled and arranged in your pie plate, place the plate in the freezer for at least on hour. This extra step will help ensure that your crust will stay together after you slice into your pie.
- I’ve roasted bananas for smoothies and blueberries for tarts. Roasting fruit makes for a truly memorable flavor experience. For this recipe: I placed my unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and placed them in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Roasted bananas (or any fruit) significantly sweetens and intensifies the flavor. The bananas are soft and caramelized. You do NOT have to do this to your bananas. Firm, ripe bananas will work just fine in this recipe. Again, I highly recommend trying roasted bananas, they just deepen the flavor of your pie.
- I like the combination of heavy cream and whole milk in the custard. This will create a rich, thick, pudding-like consistency that is perfect for this type of pie. When slice your pie, you want your pie pieces to stand on their own, not ooze onto the plate.
- After assembling your pie, but before you top it with whipped cream, allow your pie to refrigerate for at least 24 hours. This will ensure that your custard has had time to properly set.
- When you make your whipped cream, always start with very cold ingredients and very cold equipment. This will allow your cream to set up quickly.
There you have my tips on making the perfect, homemade coconut banana cream pie.
This pie tasted so light and delicate, it is the best way to end any summer meal.
Coconut Banana Cream Pie
This pie is the best of both worlds It combines the tropical flavor of coconut and the sweet flavor of roasted bananas all in the same heavenly cream pie!
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup toasted coconut
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
For the filling
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 bananas
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
For the topping
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- To prepare the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs and toasted coconut in a bowl. Add melted butter and stir until graham crackers crumbs have moistened. Press crust into a pie plate and place in the freezer for one hour. When ready, bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
- To roast the bananas, reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Arrange bananas on a foil lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until soft. Remove and let the bananas cool until they are easy to handle.
- Meanwhile, prepare the custard. Combine sugar, cornstarch, heavy cream and milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in eggs. Continue to cook until mixture begins to thicken, stirring frequently. When mixture resembles pudding, remove from heat and stir in vanilla, coconut exact and butter.
- Slice bananas and place half of the banana slices on the crust. Sprinkle 1/4 cup coconut over the bananas and top with half of the custard. Top with remaining banana slices and coconut, followed by remaining custard. Place pie in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- For the whipped cream, whisk heavy cream and sugar together in a chilled bowl on a high speed. Add vanilla and continue to whisk until cream is thick and stiff peaks form.
- When ready to serve, top pie with whipped cream and sprinkle with toasted coconut.