Momofuku Milk Bar’s Banana Cream Pie

Momofuku Milk Bar's Banana Cream Pie 1

Momofuku Milk Bar's Banana Cream Pie 2

I know it’s November, and I really should be showcasing pumpkin-spiced, fall-inspired desserts. BUT, my mind has been on Banana Cream Pie. Why? After I watched Momofuku Milk Bar’s Pastry Chef Christina Tosi whip up this Banana Cream Pie in the first season of Mind of a Chef, my mind would always circle back to this pie when thinking of desserts. I was intrigued when Tosi mentioned the importance of using “ripe” bananasโ€”and she means as-dark-as-you-can-get bananas. With the bananas being so ripe, it seriously intensifies the banana flavor and gives the custard amazing depth. Now, let me forewarn you: this recipe is very lengthy and requires some patience. That being said, when you taste the fruits of your labor, the work will be justified with one bite of this rich, creamy and heavenly pie.

Momofuku Milk Bar’s Banana Cream Pie
(Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook)
Makes one 10-inch Pie


For the Chocolate Crumbs:
(makes about 2 1/2 cups)
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Chocolate Crust:
(makes one 10-inch pie crust)
1 3/4 cups chocolate crumbs
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Banana Cream Filling:
(makes about 3 cups, enough for one 10-inch pie)
3 very ripe bananas (the darker, the better)
1/3 cup plus 3/4 cup heavy cream, separated
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin powder
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon yellow food coloring
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

For the Chocolate Crumbs:
1. Preheat the oven to 300 (F).
2. Combine 2/3 cup flour, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2/3 cup cocoa powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until fully combined.
3. Add 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter and mix on low speed until the mixture starts to come together in small clusters.
4. Spread the clusters on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, breaking the clusters up at the 10 minute mark. Once the crumbs have finished baking for 20 minutes, let cool. Allow to cool completely before using in a recipe.
Momofuku Milk Bar's Banana Cream Pie 3

For the Chocolate Crust:

    1. Pulse 3/4 cup chocolate crumbs in a food processor until they are sandy and no sizeable clusters remain. (Save 1/4 cup chocolate crumbs to be used as a topping when the pie is finished.)

    2. Transfer the sand to a medium bowl and, with your hands, toss with 2 teaspoons sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Add 2 tablespoons melted butter and knead into the sand until it is moist enough to knead into a ball.
    3. Transfer the mixture to a 10-inch pie dish. With your fingers and the palms of your hands, press the chocolate crust firmly into the tin, making sure the bottom and sides of the pie tin are evenly covered. Wrapped in plastic wrap, the crust can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the fridge for 2 weeks.

    For the Banana Cream Filling:
    1. Combine 2 ripe bananas (saving the third non-ripe one for later), 1/3 cup heavy cream, and 1/4 cup milk in a blender and puree until totally smooth.
    Momofuku Milk Bar's Banana Cream Pie 4
    2. Once the mixture is completely smooth, add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 3 egg yolks and continue to blend until homogenous. Pour the mixture into a medium saucepan, and clean the blender canister (or medium bowl).
    3. Bloom 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin by sprinkling it evenly across the surface of a small bowl filled with 2 tablespoons of cold water. The gelatin is bloomed when it is soft, about 2 minutes. 
    4. Whisk the contents of the pan (from the 2nd step) and heat over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. As the banana mixture heats up, it will thicken. Bring to a boil and, once it’s at boiling point, continue to whisk vigorously for about 2 minutes to fully cook out the starch. The mixture will resemble thick glue, bordering on cement, with a color to match.
    5. Transfer the contents of the pan back into your blender (or medium bowl, if using an immersion blender). Add the bloomed gelatin (from the 3rd step) and 3 tablespoons butter and blend until the mixture is smooth and even. Add 1/2 teaspoon yellow food coloring until it is a bright, artificial banana yellow.
    6. Transfer the banana mixture to a heatproof container, and let cool in the fridge for as long as it takes to cool completely, about 30 to 60 minutes.
    Momofuku Milk Bar's Banana Cream Pie 57. When the banana mixture has cooled, make whipped cream by combining 3/4 cup heavy cream with 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar in a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk until the cream and sugar combine to create medium-soft peaks (don’t over-mix!).
    8. Add the cold banana mixture (from the 6th step) to the whipped cream and slowly whisk until evenly colored and homogenous โ€” the mixture should turn into a pale yellow. 
    Momofuku Milk Bar's Banana Cream Pie 69. Once the banana cream is ready, pour half the mixture into the chocolate pie shell. Cover it with a layer of sliced bananas (from your remaining banana), then cover the bananas with the remaining banana cream. Sprinkle the top with remaining chocolate crumbs. The pie should be stored in the fridge and eaten within a day.
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    Bon Appetit!

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