Saturday, September 10, 2011

Charmed Banana Puddin' Pie

By Ellery Adams

Ella Mae Le Faye, the heroine of my upcoming mystery, Pies and Prejudice, has problems. She's come back to her girlhood town of Havenwood Georgia with a single change of clothes and her Jack Russell, Chewy. And just when she thinks her dream of opening a pie shop is about to come true, she finds out that her lifelong nemesis, the beautiful, rich, and manipulative Loralyn Lockwood, has convinced her fiance to bid on the darling butter-yellow cottage Ella Mae longs to own.

So what's a girl to do? Bake comfort food, for starters. And this creamy, sweet pie will make you feel like smiling no matter what trials you face. One bite of soft bananas, vanilla custard, and whipped topping flavored with a hint of rum and you'll be floating on air.

Charmed Banana Puddin’ Pie


½ Charmed Pie Shoppe crust recipe


¼ cup cold water

2 ¼ tsp. (1 pac

kage unflavored gelatin)

2 cups whole milk

¼ cup cornstarch

4 large egg yolks

2/3 cup sugar

¼ tsp. salt

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (Ella Mae prefers Penzey’s)

3 large, very ripe bananas, peeled and sliced

For Whipped Topping:

1 cup heavy cream

2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar

1 tsp. dark rum

1 tsp. vanilla extract


6 oz. semisweet chocolate, shaved into curls using a vegetable peeler


Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie dish, fitting the dough into the bottom and sides. Trim and flute the edge. Using a fork, pierce the dough all over, then line with aluminum foil and freeze for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 450°F.

Place the dough-lined pan on a baking sheet and fill the foil with pie weights. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool and then remove the foil and weights.

Pour cold water into a small bowl and add gelatin. Let gelatin firm up for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pour milk into a medium saucepan and warm over low-medium heat until hot (about 10 minutes) but do not allow it to boil. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar. (see photo of my trusty assistant) Add cornstarch and salt and blend until there are no lumps. Gradually add the hot milk to the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Add the gelatin to the mix and blend thoroughly. Pour the entire contents of the bowl and return to saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and immediately add in vanilla.

Line the banana slice along cooled piecrust and then spread the custard on top. Put a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling, piercing the plastic a few times with a knife. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. 

To make the whipped topping, place a large stainless steel bowl and blender beaters in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove from freezer and add cream, rum, vanilla, and sugar. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat or your whipped cream will look like butter. Spread the topping over chilled pie and garnish with chocolate shavings. (You won't see them in my photo because the person I made this pie for doesn't care for chocolate).

What challenges do you face this month? Post a comment and you could win a $25 gift card to Williams-Sonoma and possible purchase a new pie pan or pie weights.

Congrats to Pixie Poe, the winner of last month's Charmed Cherry Pie prize!


  1. OMG!! That looks soooo sinful. Banana pudding is one of my favorite things. I will have to try this out. My dad's birthday is the 27th and he may get pie instead of cake.

  2. Man that pie looks good!

    I am very challenged this month - my husband, an Army Reserve soldier, is away all month taking classes to change his MOS (basically his job title). I have some health issues and he is my anchor. I am always better when he is near.

  3. Once again, the photos of the pie are killing me! Yum! As for challenges, my challenge is starting a graduate school paralegal program. Classes began this week so my challenge is to get back into the swing of being back in school....after many years of being out of school.

  4. Comfort food, for sure! What a gorgeous pie. :) Can't wait to give this one a go. My challenge is being chauffeur extraordinaire to 2 busy children!

  5. Boy howdy that looks good!

    It's got my Southern mouth watering.

  6. Oh, that looks sooo yummy. Challenges this month include preparing a sermon, as I fill in for a pastor friend. It is an honor to have a friend trust you with his congregation and a challenge to hear what God wants me to say to those people on that day.

  7. Isn't this a pretty pie! I hope Ella Mae gets the cottage. Crossing my fingers.


  8. Sheryl,

    I am in awe of you. I think a sermon must be extremely difficult to write and a good one can change people's outlook for days. Best of luck to you!

  9. Anne,

    I hope you get support from friends and family and please tell your husband this humble mystery author is grateful for his service.

  10. Blue Shedevil,

    That's my mom's birthday too! And my lucky number! Small world, eh? Where does your dad live?

  11. Yummy, and I just happen to have 3 bananas in the house!

    I apologize in advance for how long this turned out! My challenge this month is to continue to recover from back surgery. It's been almost 5 weeks and I can actually sit and walk without pain. I fell on ceramic tile 5/26. 1st ER visit in June was told basically bed rest and I read my way through that month. July pain was horrible after lifting a small bag of laundry. 2nd ER visit to another hospital, sent home with narcotics and slept for that month. Too drugged to read. Middle of July opened the china cabinet drawer, felt that ripping feeling again down my back across my waist. Back to bed. Called dr. next day. Sent to 3rd ER, who told me to walk more, forget the bed rest. Oh, yeah, I walked like he said with tears running down my face. Finally texted my dr. said I had been practically begging my hubby for my pain meds 3 hours after taking them. He immediately admitted me on Thurs.8/4, surgery on 8/8. The MRI originally showed a protruding disc but it was a piece actually broken off of it which was pressing on a nerve causing the leg pain too. Now to continue my recovery because my garden is overgrown with weeds! :)

  12. Challenge--staying centered while helping a friend through cancer treatment.
    Bought a bag of candy, and finished in a day. Must switch to pies!

  13. I've got some really-really ripe, almost fermenting, bananas and this is where they are heading this afternoon. Tired of turning them into banana bread. Y'all ever let us male mystery writers drop in and do some cooking? I've got some Comfort Conch Fritters you need to try. And a story to go with them. Cheers...

  14. I'm diabetic so every day is a challenge but this month I have an additional challenge. I'm going to have a MRI to determine if I need to have carotid artery surgery to clean out the plaque. Very scary to me because my aunt had a stroke following the same kind of surgery & was never the same person. And btw Bob Morris I'd love to have the Conch Fritter recipe! And maybe I'll have a tiny slice of the Banana Puddin' Pie!

  15. Best of luck with all the health issues, my friends!

  16. Mmmmm, banana pudding and pie, my two fave things combined into one. What's not to like? Congrats on your upcoming, Pies and Prejudice.
    No major challenges for me this month besides trying to get through the launch of my fourth mystery. At least no one will expect me to bake a pie!

  17. My personal challenge sounds kinda wimpy compared to what others are dealing with, so I'll apologize in advance!
    I need to be able to find a way to fight through allergies making me tired and having a fuzzy brain so I can begin exercising again. I just don't have any energy or motivation.
    God bless those of you who have real challenges!!
    My husband loves banana pudding; looks like he'll get it in pie the next time he comes home!

  18. I can't wait to meet Ella Mae (in print), Ellery, and this pie is charmed indeed. My challenges are all about time, I'm afraid. Not enough hours in the day, and boy do I know that challenge is far from unique to me! :)

    Your pie-eating fan,
    ~ Cleo

  19. Ellery you really need to move to Utah and start a pie baking class just so we can sit and chat and eat lots of yummy pies.

    I see no challenges ahead, but wish love, hugs and lots of smiles to all of you above.

  20. Well, my challenge this month is to get myself prepared to travel by air again for the first time since 1997. In October, I am flying first to Houston where my sister and I will meet up and make our connecting flight to Pensacola. Then, my sister will drive the rental car to the very small town of Andalusia, AL so we can visit our mother and Aunt Margaret. Your pie reminds me of Aunt Margaret, it sounds like something she would make. Leaving my husband, house, pets, and job for a whole week is making me very nervous. It is going to be hard to get all my ducks in a row before I go!

  21. Wow. So many challenges. I wish everyone good luck and great health!

    Someone doesn't like chocolate, Ellery? How can that be? ;) However, I have to say that I want to dive into that pie, even without chocolate!

    ~ Krista

  22. I'm shirking my challenge right now. I have to finish Deadly Succession for my publisher but I got distracted reading the 9/11 retrospectives and needed to cheer myself up. Banna Puddin' Pie sounds like the perfect antidote... maybe I'll reward myself with one when I've finished the book.

  23. Wow that recipe sounds fantastic! My challenge this month is to finish our kitchen and living room. We recently moved (at the end of June) and 3 days after moving in we had a massive water leak ruining our whole kitchen and living room and basement. We've been under major kitchen/living room renovations for the past two months. It's been such a bummer having no kitchen-I didn't realize how much I depend on my kitchen until I didn't have one! LOL But we plan on everything being done by mid-October. Cannot wait to cook and bake again and eat homemade meals!!!!

  24. At 51 I am starting a new career and I am finding the learning slow going, my challenge is to maintain my cool while feeling like a blithering idiot inside.

  25. My challenge for the month is to be very cautious in spending. My husband and I both work in retail and both of our jobs are only part time. His hours keep getting cut, and for the coming week I was not given many hours to work either. Still waiting for some back unemployment pay to kick in, but the bills keep coming and the income keeps shrinking. Hoping that we can manage to stay afloat financially. Our son is attending a very expensive University, and we're hoping that we can see him through to graduate in 2013. Something's gotta give in the job market, and soon!

  26. At the moment my challenge is trying to find all of my clothing for the colder weather. And that means I'll be doing a lot of cleaning and organizing.

  27. Coping with our 13 yr. old Siberian Husky's declining health is currently my biggest challenge. But I know a slice of that pie would help cheer us up! (And I have a brand new bottle of Penzey's vanilla in the pantry!)

    Thanks, Ellery, for sharing another way to use up my ripe bananas. Big Congrats on the new series.

    BTW, your little kitchen helper is just a doll!

  28. Carol, you're going to shine, I just know it!

    Gossamer Gal - you are smart to be careful. Times are tough and I don't think we're anywhere near getting out of the woods yet. Best of luck to you!

    Hi Lynn! I am sending you and your husky teddy bear a big hug tonight!

  29. That looks just delicious! I've definitely faced some challenges this month. In one week my daughter was sick, the battery died in my husband's truck, my toaster blew up, then after putting $600 into my car, it decided to break down on me. It will cos $2000 to fix the car which is more than it is worth. So now I have to get a different car without breaking the bank. If that's just one week, I don't really want to know what the rest of the month is going to be like. On that thought, I may have to make that pie so I have some comfort food!

  30. My Challenge this month has been getting my oldest son through his first couple weeks of k. He is autistic. I've been proud of him on how far he has come. I'm also working on my first novel, my original deadline for myself was October but now I think it won't be done until November. I wish everyone to feel better in there challenges, we have our bad days and our good days. I always look forward to those good ones.

  31. My qualifying exam for my doctoral degree...I could use a pie or three right about now!!