This Banana Coconut Cream Pie is the best ever banana pie and coconut cream pie mashed together to create the ultimate pie! Layers of decadent, coconut infused custard sandwiching freshly sliced bananas, topped with fluffy COCONUT Whipped Cream all nestled in an easy, buttery, Vanilla Wafer Coconut Crust! And the best part is, this pie isn’t any more difficult than making either pie and now you don’t have to choose between your two favorites on Thanksgiving, Easter or ever!
I have been creating and testing pie recipes to share with you this Fall since August so I am super giddy to finally unveil the first one, Banana Coconut Cream Pie! I have been wanting to share either a banana or coconut pie for a while, but ever since my Mini Banana Coconut Cream Pies, I knew I just couldn’t share one or the other – because they are SO MUCH BETTER TOGETHER!
Vanilla Wafer Coconut Crust
Every layer of this Banana Coconut Cream Pie makes it wonderfully unique and delicious, so first, let’s start with the crust. A traditional flaky crust that is prebaked starts out crispy but ends up soggy once filled and refrigerated with the banana coconut filling, so the answer is our Vanilla Wafer Coconut Crust! This crust not only stays crispy and sturdy once filled, but is far superior in flavor with it vanilla coconut crunch.
To make, we take our Nilla Wafer cookies, which are delightfully delicious on their own and busting with vanilla goodness, and pulse them to crumbs in our food processor then mix with sweetened coconut, sugar and butter. Press this crumb mixture evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch. pie pan and bake until golden.
This Vanilla Wafer Coconut Crust can be made a day in advance to save on time (although it is super quick to make), or the day of – just be sure it is completely cool before adding your filling.
Banana Coconut Custard Filling
Speaking of filling, this Banana Coconut Custard Filling is the star of the show, or in next month’s case, the star of Thanksgiving!
Most homemade Banana Cream Pie recipes are simply vanilla pudding with a layer of bananas – and many Coconut Pie recipes are simply vanilla pudding with a sprinkling of coconut but this Banana Coconut Cream Pie filling is luscious, velvety custard-like coconut filling.
To infuse the custard with coconut flavor, we first toast our coconut and then pulse it into appetizing small pieces. We will add this to the filing and also use as a garnish. We also use coconut milk (I highly recommend Chakoah), and coconut extract to achieve 3 layers of coconut delight.
The filling might appear complicated at first glance but it takes less than 10 minutes to make and is super easy! First, whisk coconut milk, half and half, toasted coconut, sugar and salt in a medium sauce pan then bring to a gentle simmer for 3 minutes.
Next, in a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, cornstarch and more sugar together until combined (it will be very thick) then gradually ladle one spoonful of the coconut mixture into the yolk mixture and whisk until smooth. Whisk in one additional ladleful until smooth, then gradually pour mixture back into saucepan.
This process of slowly adding the warm coconut mixture to the egg mixture is called tempering so the eggs warm up slowly and don’t curdle although cornstarch helps prevent the eggs from curdling so it isn’t terribly risky.
Once all the ingredients are whisked together, gently simmer until the mixture is the consistency of thick pudding. This is the final key to a rich, sensationally creamy filling that is thick enough to keep its shape once sliced. Next, we stir in butter, vanilla and coconut extract for superb flavor and creaminess.
Next, we let the custard cool for 10-15 minutes. We want the filling to be lukewarm because a hot filling if poured into the pie crust will result in a filling that falls apart when sliced and also is much denser. Warm filling, on the other hand (NOT cold), is just right – it has a chance to settle slightly so it mounds when poured into the crust and slices beautifully – all without making the crust soggy.
Once lukewarm, pour half of the custard into the crust then layer with our generous amount of bananas then pour the remaining custard on top. Sandwiching the bananas in the center of the custard is the perfect place because if they are placed against the crust, they can make it soggy, and if placed on top, they brown too easily.
I use 3 large bananas in this Banana Coconut Cream pie as I find this creates a more proportional ratio of bananas to custard and because the bananas are the best part! Just make sure to use firm bananas because they have a better texture that hold up and keep their true color longer. I also like to serve my Banana Coconut Cream Pie the day it is made, after allowing to chill for 4 hours, because the bananas look the prettiest the day of and therefore the most appetizing.
Coconut Whipped Cream
When ready to serve, our Banana Coconut Cream Pie is topped with our Coconut Whipped Cream and toasted coconut. The pillowy Coconut Whipped Cream might sound fancy but it is just easy homemade whipped cream made by beating heavy cream and sugar along with vanilla and coconut extract. The addition of coconut extract, however, makes all the difference.
And the combining of Banana Cream Pie with Coconut Cream pie to create Banana Coconut Cream Pie makes all the difference. Layers of buttery Vanilla Coconut Wafer Crust, luscious, rich, creamy Coconut Custard Filling, layers of fresh bananas finished with fluffy Coconut Whipped Cream. In. every. Bite. The ultimate pie.
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