A while ago my friend, Natalie, asked if I could make something with bananas (and chocolate.. or peanut butter.. I can’t remember, but I know bananas were involved). Let’s just say this post is long overdue! We only made apple and blueberry pies in culinary school, so I decided to google a few recipes. I found a couple that I liked, did a little tweaking, and two pies later came up with a peanut butter, chocolate, banana pie that Elvis would die for!
- 18 cinnamon graham crackers
- ½ cup honey roasted peanuts
- 6 tbsp melted butter
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 8 oz (1 cup) cream cheese
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup Reeses peanut butter chips
- 2-3 large bananas
First, set your oven temperature to 350º. Now you can start crushing your graham crackers in a food processor until fine. Once those are all teeny tiny crumbs, I like to add the peanuts and just pulse a few times so that there’s still chunks of nuts in the crust. Melt the butter in the microwave and then add it to your graham cracker mixture. The best way to mix this is with your hands. You know it’s well mixed if you think you can manage to mold a mini sandcastle with your crumbs. Go ahead and dump the crumbs into a springfoam pan. If you don’t have a springfoam pan, a regular cake pan would work fine it will just be harder to remove your slices later!
Press down firmly and evenly to form your crust. I like to line some of the crumbs up into the sides, or you could just make a thicker crust only lining the bottom. Bake the crust for 9 minutes on 350º, then take out and let cool.
While your crust is cooling, the next step is making chocolate ganache (YUM). In school, we always made our ganache using the double boiler method (fill a pot with water and place a bowl on top to let the steam heat it up), but I’ve recently been “cheating” and using the microwave method and I have to admit, it’s a whole lot easier and works just as well!!
So measure out your chocolate and ½ cup cream and place them in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave. You don’t want to burn your chocolate, so heat it on DEFROST for one minute (maximum). Take it out and start stirring quickly. Once your ganache is smooth pop it in the freezer to start cooling it down quickly while you finish baking. Don’t worry, we’ll come back to it so we don’t forget it in there!
Before we get to the peanut butter (I know you’re all dying to lick the “peanut butter batter spoon”), let’s make the whipped cream. If you don’t have a stand mixer, a hand mixer works too! If you don’t have a hand mixer, your actual hand will also work (just be prepared to get a good arm workout)! And if you hate exercising, I suppose you can buy whipped cream, but IT’S NOT THE SAME! (In fact, you could make this whole recipe with a hand mixer or even a whisk and a large bowl if that’s all you have!)
Sorry, back to the recipe. Beat 1 ¼ cup whipped cream with a whip attachment on high until stiff peaks form. You don’t want to under-beat this so make sure it’s nice and firm. The trick my chef taught me was “put the bowl upside down over your head, if it falls, it wasn’t done”. Ok, so you don’t have to literally do that (although he really did make us do this in class, and no I didn’t get a whipped cream shampoo), but I would suggest taking the bowl and slowly turning it upside down to see if it starts moving towards the side of the bowl. If it moves, it’s not done, keep whipping. You also don’t want to over whip it so that it starts getting chunky and looking like scrambled eggs. So try to get to a happy medium. Spoon out the whipped cream into a separate bowl.
Now the part you’ve all been waiting for.. IT’S PEANUT BUTTER
JELLY TIME (I couldn’t help but sing it in the peanut butter jelly song voice)! In your mixer, whip the cream cheese and peanut butter together until smooth.
Pause. Go check on your ganache in the freezer! You don’t want it to “set” and get too firm. But it’s going to be thicker than when you first melted it. (If it froze too quickly don’t worry. Just pop it in the microwave for like six seconds and stir.) Take the bowl out and set it aside on the counter.
Then, add in the ¼ cup heavy cream and slowly mix. Next, add the brown sugar and cream together for one minute. Make sure you’re scraping down the sides and the bottom of the bowl throughout mixing! Now add the whipped cream that you just made (or cheated and bought) to the mixer and FOLD with a spatula. Be gentle! While you’re folding in the cream, add the peanut butter chips!
Ok ok, NOW you can lick the spoon! Pour out the ganache onto the crust. Spread evenly around with a spatula. Then, cut up two or three large bananas into slices. Some of my taste testers weren’t big fans of bananas in the recipe (hello, they’re my star ingredient!), so I thinly sliced two small bananas, but I highly suggest using three LARGE bananas and slicing them thick so you really get plenty of bananas in each bite!
Evenly place the banana slices on top of the chocolate ganache. When you’re done, pour in the peanut butter mixture. I know you probably want to dig right in, but this pie needs to set in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight! So cover it up with plastic wrap and start counting down the minutes!
Once your pie is done you can decorate it however you would like! I topped mine with some honey roasted peanuts for an extra crunch, caramel and chocolate sauce, extra whipped cream, and a cherry on top! Make sure you store this pie covered in the fridge. Peanut butter, chocolate, banana lovers… this pie is calling your name! (Natalie) Hope you all enjoy this amazingly delicious pie!
If you are lonesome tonight, you should bake this pie. Trust me you can’t help falling in love with it. After you eat it you’re going to be all shook up. Ok enough corny Elvis song puns, GET TO BAKING!