David Lebovitz' Rum-Butterscotch Banana Cream Pie

February 28, 2012

Author Notes: David Lebovitz is one of my favorite pastry chefs and this comes out of his newer books, "Ready for Dessert", which I highly recommend. He calls this Butterscotch Banana Cream Pie. I call it New Pants Pie, because not only will you crap your pants because of its deliciousness, you won't be able to stop eating it, and thus will need bigger jeans :DKate on the Lake

Makes: one 10" pie



  • 1.5 cups crushed chocolate cookie crumbs (see recipe)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1.5 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ripe medium bananas
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dark chocolate curls, for garnish
In This Recipe


  1. Make the crust first. Grease up a 10" pie plate. Mix the cookie crumbs with the butter until it's all moistened. Dump it into the pie plate, even it all out, then press down nice and firm. Shove it in the fridge or the freezer for 30 minutes before baking for 10 or so minutes at 350 degrees. Let it cool while you make the filling.
  2. Dump the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons butter in a small pot. On medium heat, melt it all together until it's gooey. Dump that into a large bowl off to the side and place a metal mesh strainer across the top.
  3. Measure out your cornstarch into a little bowl. Mix in about 1/3 cup of the milk and whisk it up to dissolve. Heat the rest of the milk in a medium saucepan. When it comes to a simmer, whisk in the cornstarch slurry and continue whisking the mixture over medium heat until it comes to a boil and thickens up like mayo.
  4. Whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl. Mix in a little of the hot thickened milk, then a little more. Now dump this mixture back into the pot with the milk and cook it on medium heat a couple minutes to cook the egg and thicken up again. Strain it through the mesh strainer atop your brown sugar bowl. Mix it thoroughly.
  5. Add the 2 tsp rum and 1/2 tsp vanilla to your custard. Whisk well.
  6. Slice your bananas and lay them on your cooled crust to cover the bottom. (I sprinkled a little kosher salt over the top because I'm a sweet/salty junkie) Pour on the custard, smooth out, and chill in the fridge a couple hours covered with plastic wrap.
  7. For the topping, whip the cream--either in your mixer or by hand like my chefs always made me do, just to be a pain in the a**. All in good fun o'course! Once it's soft peaks, add your tablespoon of sugar, the 2 Tbsp rum and the 1/2 tsp vanilla. Spread this atop your chilled pie. Then (I promise this is the last thing) add your chocolate curls. NOW it's finished :) Serve it up and tuck in to one of the greatest pies of your LIFE!

More Great Recipes:
Pie|Banana|Fruit|Milk/Cream|Rum|Serves a Crowd|Make Ahead|Spring|Summer|Winter|Fall|Dessert

Reviews (6) Questions (2)

6 Reviews

Sarah C. February 6, 2017
This came out wonderfully! The rum flavor was really pronounced and delicious.<br /><br />Thinking about other people's issues, perhaps they didn't cook the custard thoroughly enough? The milk/cornstarch mixture should get REALLY thick - way thicker than mayo. Then after you temper the eggs and start cooking that mixture again, the final texture should be like mayo, or even a bit thicker. Let it come to a low boil over medium heat as you whisk it constantly so it doesn't burn on the bottom, and once it starts bubbling cook it one more minute, then strain over the brown sugar/butter mixture.<br /><br />I let it chill in the fridge for about 6 hours before topping w. whipped cream and serving. It was gone in minutes!
AliciaFishbein March 9, 2015
I made the recipe from Leibowitz's cookbook. Made my own cookies as suggested using the recipe in the same book. The pie was delicious but had a major problem. Leibowitz says it can be made and assembled (except for the whipped cream topping) up to 2 days in advance. I made the crust and the custard and combined with the bananas as instructed and set it in the refrigerator overnight. Twelve hours later, when I went to top with the whipped cream, the custard was no longer custardy but instead soupy. It was such a disappointment! I spent the whole day apologizing to my guests for the gloppy mess. It was tasty nonetheless, though I would never make it again unless I were to assemble and serve it immediately.
Lizzy C. June 27, 2017
Hi there! I think you may not have cooked your custard to a high enough temperature. I did some research on custards that turn soupy overnight and this is what I found: "Egg yolks have a starch digesting enzyme called alpha-amylase. In order for a successful gelling of a starch in the recipe, the enzyme has to be killed by cooking the custard almost to boiling (a little less than 212 degrees F). Otherwise the left-over enzymes digest all of the nice firm starch gel and your custard is nothing but liquid. (All other custard cooking methods without starch can curdle if cooked beyond 185 degrees.)<br /><br />

An undercooked custard may initially appear thick but will slowly turn to soup as the amylase enzyme attacks the starch and breaks the custard down, usually as it sits under refrigeration. A good guideline is to cook for 1 to 2 minutes after bubbles appear in the custard, stirring constantly.
"<br /><br />Hope this helps!
AliciaFishbein June 28, 2017
Lizzy, wow, thank you! I really appreciate this. Maybe I might be able to take a crack at the recipe again after all!
grace November 14, 2013
what kind of cookie crumb should i use
Rupal P. June 2, 2012
This pie was tasty but completely fell apart even after about four hours of chilling. Any advice to prevent this?