Cream pies are my favorite type of pie.  Rich, billowy, and sweet.  I needed to bring a dessert to a casual dinner recently and wanted to add a little fun to it.  Make something adults would love as well as kids.  I saw a cool idea from Joy the Baker — she put pretzels in a pie crust which I thought was really pretty.  I experimented with homemade cookies, but realized they were too soft and fell apart with the cream pie filling.  Then I thought about store bought cookies.  I know that graham crackers stay crisp in pies, but would store bought cookies do the same?  I experimented with Fancypants Baking Co. Crunch cookies.  They hold their shape and crunchy texture, are small for my decorative pie crust, and their delicious, rich brown sugar oatmeal flavor pairs beautifully with the cool banana cream filling.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I bought these cookies at Whole Foods and I’ve also seen them at my local 365 (also a Whole Foods store).  They are nut-, peanut-, GMO- and cage-free too.  If you are going to put the love into making a cream pie by scratch you may as well use the finest, tastiest cookies available.

For this recipe you will need one 5 oz. bag of Fancypants Baking Co. Brown Sugar Oatmeal Crunch Cookies.  They also sell Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate, and Vanilla Bean.  Feel free to swap out cookie flavors and experiment.

Single All-Butter Crust Pie Shell

You can make the dough up to two days ahead refrigerated or frozen for up to one month.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  To use frozen dough, let dough thaw out completely before rolling.

1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4″ cubes and chilled

1 1/4 (6 1/4 oz) cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

3-4 tablespoons ice water

One 5 oz. bag Fancypants Baking Co. Brown Sugar Oatmeal Crunch Cookies (divided)

  1. Process flour and salt in a food processor until combined.  About 5-10 seconds.
  2. Add chilled butter cubes and pulse about 10 times or until mixture looks like course breadcrumbs.  Do not over process.
  3. Place dough in a large bowl.  Sprinkle ice water over dough and, using a rubber spatula, push dough until it sticks together.  If still dry add one more tablespoon of water.
  4. Turn dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a 4″ disk.  Refrigerate for one hour.
  5. Take dough out of refrigerator and let sit 10 minutes.  On floured surface, roll dough into a 12-inch circle and place into a pie plate.  Trim and crimp edges.  Wrap loosely in plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.
  6. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 425 degrees.  Place a layer of aluminum  foil onto crust and weigh down with pie weights.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until pastry looks dry and light in color.  Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes until golden, but watch carefully to avoid burning.
  7. Remove foil and weights and cool crust completely.
  8. Cut 5-6 whole Fancypants cookies in half with a sharp knife.  Save any broken cookies or pieces for the coarse cookie crumbs you will need later.  Line pie crust on the outside with cookies (see photo).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Banana Cream Filling

2/3 cups (4 2/3 oz) sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 tsp salt

3 cups (24 oz) whole milk

4 egg yolks, beaten

2 tbsp. butter, softened

1 tbsp. vanilla

1 ripe banana, sliced right before layering into pie to avoid browning

6 Fancypants cookies, coarsely crushed in a plastic bag with a rolling pin

  1. Beat egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in a 2-quart saucepan.  Gradually stir in milk.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.  When at boiling, stir for one minute.  Stir half of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks.  Stir yolk mixture into saucepan.  Boil and stir for one minute.  Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in butter and vanilla.
  4. Pour half of the filling into pie shell.
  5. Top with half of the crushed cookie crumbs.  Add a layer of ripe, sliced bananas.  Top with remaining crushed cookies crumbs.
  6. Pour remaining filling over bananas and cookies.  Press plastic wrap directly onto filling and refrigerate for at least two hours or until set.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Whipped Topping

1 cup (8 oz) heavy cream, chilled

1/4 cup (1 oz) confectioners sugar

  1. Whip the  cream and the sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed until frother, about one minute.  Increase the mixer to high and continue to whip until soft peaks form.  1-3 minutes depending on mixer.

Assembly:

After filling is chilled and set, top with whipping cream.  Sprinkle with additional Crunch cookies on top of whipping cream as a decoration.