Yes! In only 7 minutes, you can make the smoothest, tastiest cream pie filling your taste buds have ever encountered. No double boiler or hot stove. No scorching or burning.
I know not everybody gets excited about microwave ovens but I do. I’ve been using mine to make cream pie filling and pudding ever since I taught microwave cooking classes back in the era of stick-up bangs and matching socks to our tops. In those days, the microwave was magical and mysterious. Although they seem to have fallen into disrepute with some, I remain a huge fan. Admittedly, they aren’t efficient for large quantities so it’s completely understandable why restaurants and bakeries might not use them. But for home cooks making one or two pies, it’s the best and easiest way, in my opinion.
One thing for sure, I’m less tempted to use a mix (questionable taste and ingredients) or a grocery-store pie (where’s the love and homemade flavor?) when I can whip up this cream filling quickly and effortlessly.
I’m excited about the flaky pie crust seen with this pie but I’m saving the details for my next post. Come back in a few days to see why I’ve been testing and baking pie crusts like crazy.
NOTE to banana haters: Leave them out for a fabulous vanilla bean cream pie that stands on its own merits.
- 2¼ cups milk (any type will work but I use ¼ cup whipping cream and 2 cups skim milk)
- 4 egg yolks
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 8 or 9-inch baked pie crust
- Dump milk, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt into blender or food processor. You may also whisk by hand–vigorously. Blend for about 10 seconds. Don’t worry about the foam–it will disappear as filling cooks.
- Pour filling into 2-quart Pyrex glass batter bowl. Cook in microwave on HIGH for 5-7 minutes whisking well after each minute. After 4 minutes, whisk every 30 seconds. Watch filling carefully. It will become thick in a split second and you want to be there to whisk and make sure filling cooks evenly. When this happens it may look like a big lump rising up in the middle or one side. Whisk furiously and it will all smooth out. Keep cooking till thick as pudding but do not allow to boil. Pour the custard through a sieve for the smoothest filling you’ve ever tasted.
- Stir vanilla and butter into thick custard. Press plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool on the counter (or in ice bath if you are short on time) until lukewarm.
- Whisk cream and pour thin layer into pie shell. Slice a single layer of bananas then cover with another layer of cream. Repeat. In the end, you should have three layers of cream with two layers of bananas, ending with the cream on top. Smooth as much as possible, cover with plastic wrap pressed to the surface to prevent a skin from forming and chill as least a couple hours before serving. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.