Mom’s Banana Coconut Delight Pie

The Mom’s Banana Coconut Delight Pie Recipe One of my fondest memories is of making a dessert with my mom that the two of us referred to simply as “our delight.” Every time I saw the pieces of this creamy banana-coconut concoction being put together in the kitchen, I would begin counting down the hours until dessert.

level: challenging   Makes one 9-inch deep-dish pie, 6 to 8 slices

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
½ pound (2 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature

Vanilla Pudding Filling:
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/3 cups whole milk
1½ cups water
6 large egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Layered Filling:
1¼ cups heavy cream
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 large banana, thinly sliced
½ cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup Whipped Cream
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

2 cups Whipped Cream

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

To prepare the crust, in a medium bowl, combine the flour and the ½ cup of pecans.

Add the butter and use your fingers to mix it in with the flour and pecans until you have achieved a crumbly texture. Spread the dough evenly across the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. (Make sure to spread the dough uniformly so that it’s the same thickness all around the pie plate.)

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crust achieves a golden brown.

Prepare the vanilla pudding filling while the crust is baking, leaving enough time to cool before assembling the pie. To prepare the filling, in a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, salt, and flour.

Mix in the milk and water. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook until the mixture begins to simmer and the cream thickens to the point where you can insert a spoon into the mixture and the cream sticks to the spoon when removed (with none of the actual spoon visible).

Place the egg yolks in a small bowl and stir in ¼ cup of the heated mixture. Pour the egg yolks back into the cream, and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the vanilla, and whisk until it is evenly combined throughout the cream.

Allow the cream to cool in the refrigerator for about 1 hour before assembling the pie.

This pie is assembled in three layers. Once the crust and vanilla pudding filling have cooled, begin assembling the first layer. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, cream cheese, and confectioners’ sugar. Mix on high speed until well combined and stiff peaks form.
Spread the mixture evenly across the bottom of the cooled crust.

For the second layer, pour the cooled vanilla pudding filling over the cream cheese layer. Then arrange the banana slices across the layer of vanilla pudding. Place the pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour before adding the final layer.

In a large mixing bowl, using a spatula, fold the remaining ½ cup of pecans into the whipped cream until they are evenly distributed.

Spread the pecan-whipped cream mixture over the banana slices, covering them completely. (If you choose, use a pastry bag to pipe the whipped cream, or offset spatula to spread it, to create a more finished look.) Sprinkle the coconut over the whipped cream. Evenly distribute the whipped cream garnish across the top of the pie.

Notes and Tips:
In the years that followed my mom’s passing, I made this pie only a handful of times because I could never match her recipe. Then one morning I woke up and realized I could put a twist on “our delight” by re-creating the banana-coconut cream and inserting the filling into a pecan-infused piecrust, created specifically for this pie. “Our delight” now became pure delight. Mom’s Banana-Coconut Delight Pie is best when refrigerated overnight and served cold the next day. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Mom’s Banana Coconut Delight Pie
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