I’ve been depriving Tony of a favorite dessert for quite some time, but with Pi Day on the horizon, I knew it was time to get to the kitchen and bake a banana cream pie.
Unlike most banana cream pie recipes, this one is made from scratch, rather than a pudding mix, and has a special infusion of banana that helps to set the pie rather than making it runny (like mashed bananas would do). I’ve always found it strange that banana cream pie is really vanilla pie with bananas on top – I wanted to taste banana throughout for a true banana cream pie experience!
Of course, the recipe is dairy-free and decadent, too, but I’ve also made it naturally gluten-free and allergy-friendly for the So Delicious Pi(e) 4 All event this weekend!
In honor of Pi Day (3.14.15), So Delicious Dairy Free is hosting an Instagram contest called Pi(e) 4 All (#Pi4All) to celebrate allergy awareness through your creativity in making and finding delicious allergy-friendly treats!
For every photo of allergy-friendly pie uploaded to Instagram between 3/13-3/15 So Delicious will donate $3.14 to Kids with Food Allergies (KFA)! Additionally, one lucky winner will receive a $314 prize for their photo. They will also select 10 random winners to receive 3 VIP coupons redeemable for So Delicious treats!
Contest dates: March 13-15 (Over the weekend of Pi Day – 3.14.15)
So what is my banana cream pie recipe made of? It gets a creamy base from pure coconut milk, but don’t worry, generous infusions of banana and vanilla make for a seamless flavor. The slight pudding consistency is made with a traditional preparation, and then it sets up for slicing with a nice little dose of luxurious coconut oil rather than butter.
This post is sponsored by So Delicious Dairy Free in celebration of Pi Day, allergy awareness and the Pi(e) 4 All Instagram Contest – join in! And don’t forget, if you love dairy-free food, you can feast with your eyes daily by following the So Delicious Instagram and Go Dairy Free Instagram.
Special Diet Notes: Banana Cream Pie 4 All
This recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, optionally grain-free, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
What about eggs? I’ve created this recipe to be egg-free and vegan, but egg yolks make from-scratch banana cream pie filling yellow in color (when using pudding mix, it’s usually coloring). If you want more of a custard and that sunny hue, temper in 2 to 3 egg yolks when thickening the coconut milk mixture. Without the egg yolks, the filling is a beige color – the freeze-dried banana does oxidize slightly, but it’s still just as tasty and good for you!
Make it lighter? Though this recipe is already much lighter than many of the vegan banana cream pie recipes out there, it is slightly richer than a traditional pudding pie. That said, it also sets up better for slicing! If you want more of a traditional pudding pie that is a touch lower in fat, you can reduce the full-fat coconout milk to 1 1/2 cups and increase the milk beverage to 1 1/2 cups. You can also reduce the coconut oil to 3 tablespoons. The pie will be a bit softer / more pudding like, once cut.
- 2 11-ounce packages Original Culinary Coconut Milk (2½ cups full-fat coconut milk; see note below)
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ cup lite coconut milk, unsweetened coconut milk beverage or unsweetened cashew milk beverage
- ¼ cup non-GMO cornstarch (can sub arrowroot or tapioca starch)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup freeze-dried bananas (I used Natierra)
- ¼ cup coconut oil (I used Nutiva)
- 2¼ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 prepared 8- or 9-inch pie shell (I used a Wholly Wholesome gluten-free shell)
- Dairy-free whipped topping (I used CocoWhip) or homemade coconut whip
- 1 to 2 fresh bananas, sliced into rounds
- Whisk the coconut milk, sugar, lite coconut milk or milk beverage, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium saucepan until smooth.
- Place pan over medium-low heat and bring to a bubble, whisking often. When it just begins to bubble, cook and whisk for 2 to 3 minutes more or until thickened to a pudding consistency.
- Remove from heat. Place the freeze-dried bananas in a spice grinder and whiz until powdered, 30 to 60 seconds. Thoroughly whisk the powdered banana, coconut oil, and vanilla into the pudding mixture.
- Let cool for 10 minutes, whisk again until smooth, and then pour into your prepared pie crust and level out the top.
- Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the filling and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Serve chilled, but when ready to serve, top with freshly sliced bananas and coconut whip.