Every year, as my husband’s birthday rolls around, I start inquiring as to what kind of birthday dessert he wants. He typically replies, “Anything with blueberries or pudding or peanut butter and chocolate.” I have yet to come up with a dessert that features all three of his favorite dessert flavors, but I usually try to include at least one of those in whatever I make for him. To be honest, he would be perfectly happy with a big bowl of pudding, but it’s only his birthday once a year, so, I decided to go big.
A buttery graham cracker crust, layers of coconut custard and sliced bananas, topped with freshly whipped cream and garnished with even more coconut and bananas. This pie is sky high and filled with as much “pudding” as I could get in there. Instead of making it in a pie plate, I used a high-sided springform pan to make the pie extra thick and indulgent. I’ve made this pie twice. The first time (not pictured) I drizzled the top with salted caramel. Feel free to add salted caramel or skip it – it was great both ways. You can also omit the bananas for a coconut cream pie, or omit the coconut for a banana cream pie.
Deep Dish Coconut Banana Cream Pie
- 3 cups graham cracker crumbs made from approximately 18-20 whole crackers
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons melted butter
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3 cups whole or 2% milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
- 2 bananas
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut for garnish
- 1 or 2 additional bananas for garnish
For the crust:
- Preheat oven to 350. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and pinch of salt until combined. Stir in melted butter and mix thoroughly, until all the graham cracker crumbs are coated with butter. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a springform pan (I used a 9 inch pan). Make sure the crumbs go all the way up the sides, nearly to the top. The crust needs to be high enough to hold in the generous amount of filling that will be added later. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant. Cool to room temperature and then carefully transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely.
For the filling:
- In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream and milk to a simmer, whisking a couple of times. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk sugar, cornstarch, salt and egg yolks until combined. Once the milk is simmering, slowly add a cup of the warm milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly (this will help bring up the temperature of the egg mixture without scrambling the eggs). Once the cup of milk is incorporated, slowly pour the entire egg mixture into the saucepan, whisking while you pour. Bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for about 5 minutes, whisking constantly. The mixture will thicken. Remove from the heat and whisk in vanilla extract and butter.
- Pour the custard into a large bowl. If you’re worried about lumps, you can set a mesh sieve over the bowl and pour the mixture through the sieve into the bowl, using a spatula to lightly press the custard through the sieve.
- Allow the bowl of custard to cool slightly at room temperature for about 20 minutes, then stir in 1 1/2 cups of sweetened shredded coconut. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, until chilled completely.
- Once chilled, pour* half of the custard into the prepared crust and add 2 sliced bananas on top of the custard. Pour the remaining custard on top of that.
For the topping:
- Whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream onto the top of the pie and refrigerate until ready to serve. Right before serving, garnish the pie with additional sliced bananas and shredded coconut*. Store any remaining pie in the fridge.
*If your custard thickened too much in the fridge, you can whisk in a few splashes of milk to thin it out slightly. Whisk vigorously to help it blend in smoothly. Be careful not to thin it out too much, you want the slices of pie to hold their shape once sliced.
*I used toasted coconut for the garnish. To toast coconut: place the desired amount in a pan over medium heat. Stir frequently until most of the coconut is light brown and toasted, several minutes.
Filling adapted from Joy the Baker
Coconut Cream Pie with Graham Cracker Crust