• Amy Raimondi, NTP, MLIS

Banana Cream Pie with Whipped Topping (gluten/grain-free and refined sugar-free)

Updated: Mar 30

I'm not much of a baker. But I am realizing that during times of stress and uncertainty I like to bake. I don't think it's a sugar craving either, because I more satisfied after baking something than I am by eating it.


The last time I had an urge to bake like this was during the third trimester of my pregnancy. Here we are during a pandemic, and that urge has returned again (a lot of women have mentioned they have been feeling the same anxiety they felt when they were pregnant and/or postpartum. Just as we experience hormonal shifts, our world is also experiencing a massive shift.)


Social distancing may be a good opportunity to clean out your pantry and/or freezer as we limit our trips to the grocery store. I found a gluten-free pie crust in my freezer that I bought at Trader Joe's a few months ago. Once I realized we had several bananas all ripening pretty quickly, I decided to turn them into a banana cream pie.


I wouldn't say this dessert is healthy, but it's probably one of the better options out there for a banana cream pie. It is grain-free (depending on your crust/if you go crustless) and refined-sugar free. I would encourage you to use grass-fed whole milk, cream, and butter.

And I personally think homemade baking is a healthy, creative outlet to manage stress and anxiety!

In the interest of social distancing, I did not experiment with making this dairy-free as I did not want to be wasteful of the ingredients we had. If you experiment with coconut milk, please let me know how it turns out.


And in an effort not to be wasteful, I took my leftover egg whites and whipped them up with maple syrup and vanilla extract to make simple meringue cookies.


P.S. The elusive gluten-free pie crust from Trader Joe's came as quickly as it went. It was very cheap for gluten-free and the ingredients were fairly clean so it was an impulse buy, but I wished I had grabbed a few because I never saw them again. Maybe they will return again later this year. If you don't have a pie crust on hand, I have used this recipe for all my pies in the past.


Banana Cream Pie with Whipped Topping (gluten/grain-free and refined sugar-free)


Ingredients:

  • 1 gluten-free pie crust (I used a frozen gluten-free Trader Joe's pie crust. If you do not have one, this is my favorite grain-free pie crust recipe.) Note: You can make this crustless! Just make the filling and pour it into a pretty bowl or serving dish lined with banana slices, and let cool. Serve like a pudding or custard.

  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar or maple sugar

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 1/4 cup arrowroot

  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, separated

  • 2 tbsp room-temperature butter

  • 2-3 bananas, sliced

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup peanuts and/or chocolate chips, for garnish (optional)


Instructions:

  1. Follow the instructions on your pie crust to make sure it is fully baked (blind bake). Let the pie crust cool completely.

  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, heavy cream, coconut/maple sugar, and salt. Whisk until all the sugar has dissolved, and keep on the heat until it just starts to simmer, whisking occasionally while working on step 3.

  3. As the mixture on the stove begins to simmer, whisk the egg yolks and arrowroot in a medium mixing bowl until thick and smooth.

  4. Once the mixture on the stove starts to simmer, very slowly whisk about 1 cup of the simmering milk mixture from the stove to the egg yolk mixture in the mixing bowl. You want to bring the temperature of the egg yolk mixture up, without cooking the yolks and turning it into scrambled eggs.

  5. Very slowly add the the egg yolk mixture from the mixing bowl into the saucepan with the rest of the milk mixture. Keep cooking and whisking, until the mixture is thick and bubbles begin to form, about 1 minute.

  6. Remove the saucepan from heat and whisk in the butter and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

  7. Allow the filling to cool for about 15 minutes. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top to prevent a shell from forming.

  8. While the custard is cooling, slice 2-3 bananas and arrange them on the cooled pie shell.

  9. Once the filling is cooled, spread it over the bananas. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the filling. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

  10. When ready to serve, make the whipped cream by whisking the heavy cream, maple syrup, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract in a stand mixer or electric hand mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3-5 minutes. Spread onto the chilled pie and top with peanuts and/or chocolate.

  11. Slice and serve!

TIP: While my pie was cooling, I used the leftover egg whites to make a batch of meringue cookies
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I am not a doctor or registered dietitian. A Nutritional Therapy Practitioner™ is not trained to provide medical diagnosis or treatment of any medical or pathological condition, illness, injury or disease.  No recommendation or comment made by a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner™ should be construed as being medical advice or diagnosis.

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