Banana Cream "Pie" Tart

I saw
that my life
was a vast glowing empty page
and I could do anything
I wanted.
— Jack Kerouac

Welcome back to Persona Kitchen this week everyone!

As you may (or may not) know if you’ve read some of my last couple posts, Jake and I are moving within the next couple weeks. So, to say the least, our lives have been a bit crazy. Our apartment is a mess, boxes everywhere, everything half packed or strewn about. Everything is a mess, but a welcome one at that. I am excited for all of it. It means that we will be moving on to yet another apartment, and hopefully we will keep this one for a while (fingers crossed).

And whenever we move the last room that gets packed is, of course, the kitchen. And I mean it, I do not pack a single thing until the last day. All of my mixing bowls, piping bags, offset spatulas, and sprinkles. They all stay unpacked until the very day we move. Because, you see, cooking and baking keep me sane. I can’t tell you why but it has always been cathartic to me. I get to think of a recipe and make it. I create it, myself. And then I get to share it with you. And each week when I hit the “publish” button I wait with anticipation, hoping that you will love each recipe I create.

Recently, I had a reader (it feels so weird saying that!) who made my Strawberry-not-so-short Cake and she took the time to comment on the recipe giving me feedback and suggestions and I was so giddy. It was such an odd feeling, knowing that someone saw my pictures somewhere, clicked the link to get to A Common Kitchen, liked the pictures and the recipe so much that they actually made it and shared it with people. There isn’t another emotion I can liken it to besides sheer happiness.

When I first started this blog, it was an empty page for me. I didn’t know where or what it would lead to. And now it’s been almost exactly a year since I posted my first recipe and I have seen so much improvement in both my recipe development and food photography. And on a much deeper level, I feel proud of myself. Proud for sticking with it, posting recipes (almost) consistently every week, and not stopping every time I was in a ‘creative block’.

You see, I want to make this blog my full time job because it is what I love to do. I can do anything I want with it, and it is all mine. So thank you for one year full of successes, fails, and good food.

Xx Bella

Banana Cream "Pie" Tart

Special Tools:


For the Crust

  • 1 ½ Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs

  • ⅓ Cup White Granulated Sugar

  • ¼ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

  • ¼ Ground Nutmeg (optional)

  • 6 Tablespoons Butter, melted

For the Vanilla Pastry Cream

  • ½ Cup White Granulated Sugar

  • ¼ Cup Cornstarch

  • ½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

  • 2 Cups Whole Milk

  • 4 Egg Yolks

  • Seeds from ½ of a Vanilla Bean

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, cut into ½ inch cubes

For the Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • 1 ½ Cups Heavy Cream, very cold

  • 2 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar

  • Seeds from ½ of a Vanilla Bean

Other Ingredients:

  • 2 Bananas, sliced to ¼ inch thickness


For the Crust

  1. In a bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, and nutmeg and whisk to combine.

  2. Add the butter and mix until evenly combined.

  3. Dump all of the crust into the tart shell and use your fingers to press the crust into the bottom, corners, and up the sides of the tart tin.

  4. Place the crust into the freezer and chill until ready to use.

For the Vanilla Pastry Cream

  1. In a medium sized saucepan, add the sugar, cornstarch, and salt and whisk until there are no lumps of cornstarch.

  2. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the milk, egg yolks and vanilla bean seeds until fully combined. Pour the egg + milk mixture slowly into the sugar + cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly until you have a lump-free mixture.

  3. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook, whisking constantly, until the custard is thick like pudding. Take the custard off the heat and stir in the cubed butter until evenly combined.

  4. Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and pour the custard through the sieve and into the bowl— this will catch any lumps that may have formed during the cooking process.

  5. Cover the custard with plastic wrap, making sure that the plastic wrap touches the entire surface of the custard to prevent a ‘film’ from forming on the top of it.

  6. Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 2 hours.

For the Vanilla Whipped Cream

  1. Once the custard is completely chilled, start preparing the Vanilla Whipped Cream.

  2. In a large chilled bowl, add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean seeds. Whisk the cream until you have medium-stiff peaks, about 4-5 minutes.

  3. Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip and set aside.

To Assemble

  1. Take the chilled tart shell out of the freezer.

  2. Place a single flat layer of bananas on the bottom.

  3. Spoon the Vanilla Pastry Cream on top of the bananas and smooth it out with the back of the spoon so it’s flat on top.

  4. Pipe little ‘blobs’ of Vanilla Whipped Cream on top the pastry cream, using as much or as little as you prefer (I like to use it all!)

  5. Carefully place the tart in to the fridge and chill for at least two hours.

    * This Banana Cream Tart tastes best after it has chilled overnight but you can get away with chilling it for only two hours. If you have the time, assemble the tart without making or using the Vanilla Whipped Cream and chill it overnight. Then, about 30 minutes before you plan to serve it, make the whipped cream, pipe it onto the tart, and chill in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. Slice and enjoy!