When I saw Banana Cream Pie in the latest issue of Bon Appetit, I just had to make it. Tasked with veganizing the brilliant Chris Morocco’s recipe, I also wanted to put my own spin on the crust. In addition to the salted peanuts, I substituted biscoff cookies & whole-wheat flour for the crust. For the custard, I substituted a blend of aquafaba, water, psyllium husk & agar for the eggs - which kept the filling firm, yet creamy! Whipped coconut cream is the best substitute for fresh whipped cream, but requires a little bit more effort by chilling coconut cream the night before. However, store-bought non-dairy whipped cream works well! Just add before serving, and don’t forget the salted peanuts - they’re the key to this pie, balancing out the sweet crust, custard and cream. For more veganized recipes, check out @jonajim on Instagram! —jonajim
Biscoff & Salted Peanut Crust
Lotus biscoff biscuits (or 126 grams of similar cookie)
salted dry-roasted peanuts
vegan butter, melted
Banana Custard & Assembly
full-fat vegan milk (I used a can of coconut milk and oat milk)
vegan butter, chilled
large bananas, ripe & firm sliced 1/4” thick
salted dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
*NOTE: If making the whipped coconut cream from scratch, refrigerate 2 cans of full-fat coconut milk or cream the night before making the pie! Do not disturb the cans and keep them right side up in the refrigerator.
Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350F. Using your hands, crush cookies into a food processor; pulse until finely ground. Add flour, peanuts and salt and pulse a few times until incorporated but with some flecks of peanut remaining. Pour in the melted butter and pulse just until mixture clumps resembling wet sand and holds together when squeezed between your fingers. Adjust butter or flour if too dry or wet.
Press mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a standard 9" pie dish using the bottom of a flat cup and your hand. Bake until deep golden brown —about 20 to 30 minutes, taking care to thoroughly cook the crust but not scorch it. It should be firm to touch and set, but not crispy (it will crisp as it cools). Set aside to cool on a wire rack.
Banana Custard & Assembly
Whisk aquafaba, water, agar and psyllium husk together in a small bowl or cup until dissolved. Set aside to thicken for a few minutes, and in the meantime whisk sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan to combine. Add the thickened aquafaba mix, and whisk vigorously to combine all ingredients —making sure to reach the corners of the pan and the consistency is smooth. Whisk in 3 cups vegan milk, vanilla, and ½ tsp. salt until combined. You can add some yellow food dye or 1/2 to 1 tsp. turmeric for more color, but that’s completely optional
Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, whisking often and making sure to get into corners of pan, 8–10 minutes until custard is thick. The pudding will be thick enough to cling to the whisk and drip slowly off of it (I promise it will be appealing when it finishes setting once chilled). Remove pan from stove, and let pudding cool 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.
Add chilled butter to custard and whisk until melted and fully incorporated. Add sliced bananas and stir gently to incorporate. Scrape filling into cooled crust and smooth surface if needed. You may have extra custard, just pour into a jar and enjoy later! Chill until cold and set, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. When ready to serve, top with whipped coconut cream or non-dairy whipped topping and the crushed peanuts.
WHIPPED COCONUT CREAM: Chill 2 cans of full-fat coconut milk or cream overnight. Remove the coconut cream or milk from the fridge without tipping or shaking and remove the lid. Scrape out the top, thickened cream and leave the liquid behind (reserve for use in smoothies). Place hardened cream in a metal mixing bowl (metal will retain the chill and help whip the cream). Beat for 30 seconds with a mixer until creamy. Then add a splash of vanilla & 1/2 cup powdered sugar and mix until creamy and smooth - about 1 minute. Taste and adjust sweetness as needed.