I like banana cream pie just fine, but it's never made my top ten list UNTIL last week when my friend Ellen Doogan brought her signature dessert to a luncheon. Not only was it beautiful it was mouthwateringly delicious. I usually only dream about food when I'm dieting...but for three days running that pie showed up in my dreams...so you know it was that good. I had to have the recipe! Was it an "ancient Irish secret" (ha ha)...or would she be willing to give it to me? I'm so glad Ellen was happy to share it with all of us in the secret recipe box. XO Martha
9 oz. graham crackers (or 2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs)
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup butter melted
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
5 small ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 lbs total)
Preheat oven to 350. Line bottom of 9" springform pan with parchment paper. Finely grind graham crackers in food processor, add sugar. Pour butter over crumbs; process to blend well. Crumbs should stick together when pressed. Press mixture over the bottom and 1 1/2" up the side of the springform pan. Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Cool and refrigerate.
Combine sugar and 3 Tbs. water in medium heavy pot. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Raise heat; boil without stirring, occasionally stirring pot swirling pot and brushing down sides with pastry brush dipped into water, until syrup is sep amber color, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and butter. Continue stirring for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. Remove sauce from heat; spread 1 cup over crust.
Refrigerate until sauce is semi-firm, about 1 hour. Keep remaining sauce at room temperature. Beat cream in large bowl until soft peaks form. Thinly slice 3 bananas; fold into cream. Spoon into crust. Slice remaining 2 bananas; arrange over pie. Re-warm remaining sauce gently over low heat. Drizzle some over pie. (If the sauce has thickened too much to drizzle, stir in a few tablespoons of milk.) Serve with remaining sauce.