If I had to choose a favorite pie, it would be creamy, custardy banana cream pie. Here, fresh and candied ginger add a nice kick, balanced by sweet milk chocolate. Chocolate and banana are meant for each other, but the thin layer of milk chocolate lining the crust also keeps the crust nice and crisp. This pie is perfect on its own, or garnish it with milk chocolate shavings by running a vegetable peeler along a bar of chocolate.
- 1 cup (5½ ounces/155 grams) all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- ½ cup (2¾ ounces/79 grams) pastry or cake flour (see Chef’s Tip)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter or lard, cut into ½-inch cubes and chilled
- 3 1/3 ounces (93 grams) milk chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup (8 ounces/226 grams) heavy whipping cream
- Ginger Pastry Cream
- 4 ripe bananas, peeled and cut into ¼-inch slices
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped candied ginger, plus more for garnish, optional
- Milk chocolate for shaving, optional
1. To make the pastry: Put the flours, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and salt into a large mixing bowl and mix well. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or your fingers until the mixture resembles small peas. Gently knead the dough, adding ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, until you can squeeze the mixture into a ball. On a temperate dry day, you will need about ¼ cup water. Form the dough into a ball, press it into a 1-inch-thick disk, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill until firm, at least 1 hour.
2. Lightly flour a work surface and a rolling pin. Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle, ¼-inch thick, rotating the circle a quarter turn with each roll. Lightly flour the dough and loosely roll it around the rolling pin, then unroll it into a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie dish and press gently into the dish. Pierce the dough allover with a fork. Trim any excess dough and decoratively crimp the edge, if desired. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and freeze until hard, at least 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
4. Line the dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to 325°F and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment paper and pierce the dough allover with a fork. Bake the crust until browned and dry to the touch, about 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
5. To make the filling: Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over a larger pan of hot water. As soon as the chocolate melts, stir well, pour into the cooled piecrust, and spread evenly in a thin layer. Let the chocolate cool and harden at room temperature.
6. Put the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium speed until medium peaks form. (When you lift the whisk from the mixture, a peak will form and the very tip of the peak will fall back down.) Fold one quarter of the whipped cream into the pastry cream to lighten it. Then fold in another quarter. Set the remaining whipped cream aside.
7. Spread half of the pastry cream mixture in the piecrust. Top with a single layer of the sliced bananas and half the chopped ginger. Repeat with another layer of the remaining pastry cream, bananas, and ginger, then spread the reserved whipped cream decoratively on top of the pie. Garnish with the candied ginger and shaved milk chocolate on top, if desired. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 6 hours before serving.