I love American baking, two of my three cookbooks are littered with US inspired recipes and it's a style I return to time and again. With a pie shell made, I asked on Instagram what I should fill it with. The answers were varied but I went with those that asked for Coconut Cream and Banana Cream Pie, actually I decided to combine the two and, with the addition of passion fruit, give these classic southern recipes a slightly tropical feel. Instead of using a vanilla custard with sliced banana I decided to flavour the custard using coconut milk, roasted banana and passion fruit puree, which makes for one rather special pie, if I do say so myself!
Banana Cream Pie with Coconut and Passion Fruit
Shortcrust Pastry/Pie Dough
225g plain flour
pinch of salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
120g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
2-4 tbsp ice-cold water
Banana, Coconut and Passion Fruit Custard
2 medium ripe bananas
400ml coconut milk
2 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
200g caster sugar
Juice from 3 passion fruits
450ml double cream, lightly whipped to soft peaks
1 passion fruit
40g toasted desiccated coconut
Preheat the oven to 180C(160C fan) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
To make the pastry place the flour, salt and sugar into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse very briefly, just once or twice. Drizzle in half of the water and pulse until the dough starts to form clumps. If the dough is still dry add the remaining water. Once the dough is just starting to come together tip out onto the worksurface and use your hands to bring together into a ball. Press into a disc and wrap in clingfilm and refrigerating at least an hour before using.
To make the custard place the bananas onto the prepared baking tray and roast until blackened, about 20-30 minutes. Whilst the bananas are cooking place the coconut milk into a medium sized saucepan and over medium/high heat bring to the boil. Meanwhile place the eggs, yolk, sugar and cornflour into bowl and whisk together until smooth and combined. Once the milk is at temperature pour over the egg mixture whisking constantly to avoid cooking the eggs. Pour this custard back into the pan and cook, whilst whisking constantly, until thick. Scrape the custard into the bowl of a food processor and add the roasted bananas. Process the custard until smooth and lump free. Scrape the custard into a clean bowl and add the passion fruit juice, stirring to combine. Press a sheet of clingfilm onto the surface of the custard and chill thoroughly at least three hours.
Once the pastry is chilled roll out on a lightly floured worksurface until about 10-11 inches then carefully drape into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the overhang to about 1inch and roll under itself to form the edge (this cylinder of dough should sit on the edge of the pie plate). Crimp the dough and then refrigerate for an hour until firm. At this point the pie shell can also be frozen for up to a month. To bake line the pie shell with a piece of parchment paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes before removing the parchment and beans and baking for a further 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool fully before filling.
To assemble the pie pour in the custard and top with the whipped cream, finishing by decorating with the remaining passion fruit and sprinkling over the coconut.