Happy holidays! I've been to the Midwest for a week and back again, but the season's festivities are not over yet. Tomorrow a crew of friends and I are headed to a West Virginia cabin to x-country ski, hot tub, play music, make delicious food, and hold our annual micropong winter classic tournament! I'm packing my sweaters and tarot cards and fiddle and ski boots and praying for snow.
One celebration that's become a marker of winter for me is the annual party at my friend Bradley's house, "The Urban Homestead," in Brentwood, Maryland. There's always great food, a well-stocked bar, an outdoor bonfire, music jams, and a living room square dance. This year, Bradley and her housemate Pete bought the house (or the homestead) they'd been renting for years, so there was an additional reason to celebrate. I'd been battling a nasty cold, but pulled it together to make it to the party and bring along this Peanut Cocoa Banana Cream Pie to add to the dessert table.
You may recall the Pumpkin & Chai Spice Nut Butter Pie I made last month, using nut butter from Durham, North Carolina's Big Spoon Roasters. This recipe uses their Peanut Cocoa Butter as a base for the filling, and is topped with fresh bananas in a graham cracker crust. It's essentially the same recipe as this Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie, but with an exceptional chocolate, honey, coconut oil, and sea salt infused peanut butter. If you really wanted to take it up another level, you could add this chocolate ganache, but I think it's already plenty rich. For further variations, try substituting a peanut, Oreo, or pretzel crust.
This Elvis pie spin-off was a fast mover at the Christmas party-- only a few graham cracker crumbs remained when I went to collect the pie dish at the end of the night. For more information on where to find Big Spoon Roasters fantastic handcrafted nut butters (all of which would be good in a pie), visit their website, where you can also place an order to have a jar or two delivered to your door.
Big Spoon Roasters Peanut Cocoa Banana Cream Pie
Adapted From Nancie McDermott's Southern Pies
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
5 Tblsp. unsalted butter
1 Tblsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. confectioner's sugar
2 Tblsp. whole milk
2 c. heavy whipping cream
3 bananas, sliced into 1/4-1/2 in. slices
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour graham cracker crumbs in a bowl and add melted butter, sugar, and salt until well mixed.
2. Pat the buttery crumbs into a 9-inch pie pan, pressing mixture into the bottom and sides to form a pie crust. Place in oven and bake until crust is lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes. Place on a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature before adding the filling.
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, and peanut butter, beating until fluffy. Add the milk and the peanuts and mix well until incorporated.
2. In another bowl, using an electric mixer if desired, beat whipping cream until it becomes thick and holds medium-stiff peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture until well combined.
3. Add a layer of sliced bananas (about 1 1/2 bananas) to the bottom of the pie crust and pour the filling on top. Add the remaining bananas on top of the filling, around the edge of the pie. Cover pie and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.