Lovers of banana pie unite! If you happen to not fall into this category, I assure you are about to change your mind forever after trying this luscious extra creamy melting pie. I warned you!
With that being said, I confess this is a secret recipe very well-kept in my family. The filling is very easy to make. I remember making it since I was able to hold a spoon… well, I was holding spoons for a while. Anyway, I search and search and I couldn’t find this recipe in any cooking book or online. This recipe was only found in a piece of paper at my mother’s house, inside some other cookbook. At least, I found it again. I would make it only by memory, but I was wanting to confirm the exact measures.
The original recipe does not include Nutella. But I like so much the banana-nutella combination per se that I decided to give it a go. It takes just a little spread on top of the rich silky banana filling to make even the most sophisticated palate go round.
Nutella. A magic word from my childhood, when not long after it ended the Salazar dictatorship and Portugal was still slowly awakening to a new world of freedom and flavors, it was a common habit to make a trip to the neighbor Spain to get some goodies.
It was a long day’s journey full of adventures, me and my older sister, together with our parents crossing the border by car. I emphasize ‘crossing the border’ because it was some serious matter, as every car was thoroughly inspected by the customs officers. We’d be waiting inside the car in suspense until we’re cleared to go, especially on the way back when the car was packed with the shopping spree. It is not like nowadays, with the borders open for all members of the Schengen Agreement and the consequent free movement of goods, capital, persons, among other things. No, back then it was a thrilling enterprise. Many things would be confiscated by the officers, as simple as a laundry detergent pack.
Everybody used to go to a big chain that still exists today, El Corte Ingles. There we’ll be going up and down on the rolling stairs to shop for clothes and to be exquisitely offered samples of their food products. That would include La Piara pates and of course Nutella. Besides this items were not to be found easily in Portugal by then, we could buy it in Spain much cheaper, so it was worth the travel. Big memories and episodes I could tell here about those times. But we have a pie to bake now. So, let’s do it!
Best Banana Pie (with a hint of Nutella)
Butter almond crust (adapted from Simply Recipes)
Any pie crust will work well on this recipe, even the ready-made. I decided to try a different kind this time and I like the hint of almond on this one.
1 cups whole wheat all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/4 cup finely ground roasted almonds
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 to 5 Tbsp ice water, very cold
Cut the sticks of butter into 1/2-inch cubes and place in the freezer for 15 minutes to an hour (the longer the better) so that they become thoroughly chilled.
Combine flour, roasted almonds, salt and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and pulse again.
Remove dough from machine and place in a mound on a clean surface. Gently shape into 1 disc. Knead the dough just enough to form the disc, do not over-knead. You should be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These small chunks of butter are what will allow the resulting crust to be flaky. Sprinkle a little flour around the disc and wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.
Remove the crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out with a rolling-pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. If necessary, add a few sprinkles of flour under the dough to keep the dough from sticking. Carefully place onto a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the pie dough down so that it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the pie dish.
Freeze the crust it for at least a half hour, until chilled. This is an important step in pre-baking. Otherwise the crust will slip down the sides.
Pre-heat your oven to 350°F. When the pie crust is sufficiently chilled, line the pie crust with parchment paper, wax paper, or aluminum foil. Fill at least two-thirds full with pie weights – dry beans, rice, or stainless-steel pie weights. Bake with weights for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, cool a few minutes and carefully remove pie weights. Poke small holes in the bottom of the pie crust with a fork and return to oven (without the weights) and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the crust is golden. Cool completely before filling. You may need to tent the edges of the pie with aluminum foil when you bake your pie, to keep the edges from getting too dried out and burnt.
1/2 can of condensed milk
2 bananas, smashed into puree
juice of half lemon
1 egg yolk
1/2 Nutella jar
coconut flakes for decoration on top
Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees (120 degrees Celsius). Mix condensed milk with the smashed bananas, lemon juice and egg yolk. Pour the mixture in the pre-baked pie crust and bake for about 30 minutes. Take from oven, spread the nutella on top or make decorations with a pastry bag. Sprinkle the coconut flakes on top of the nutella spread, turn the oven to broil and insert the pie pan for about 5 additional minutes until the coconut is golden brown (be careful to not burn the pie at this point).