‘Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten’s Easy Chocolate Banana Cream Pie Is ‘Classic Comfort Food’ That’s Never Fussy

Barefoot Contessa star Ina Garten has the perfect comfort food dessert that’s always a hit — a chocolate banana cream pie that’s made with her “foolproof” graham cracker crust and rich chocolate filling. Garten offers up some tips to easily make her gorgeous cream pie.

Ina Garten toasts with a glass of wine while she dines with Willie Geist on October 10, 2018
‘Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten | Mike Smith/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Ina Garten has the perfect ‘comfort food’ dessert recipe

While demonstrating how to make her chocolate banana cream pie on the Barefoot Contessa cooking show, Garten notes that she considers this a “classic comfort food.” After describing the delicious layers, she quips, “Uh, duh. Who wouldn’t love that?”

Her recipe begins with “a really rich chocolate pudding,” a combination of sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, salt, scalded milk, butter, and chocolate. Coffee liqueur and instant coffee add more depth of flavor to the chocolate.

Garten has some tips for making her pie, including the need to allow the crust to cool before adding the filling. “It’s really important to let the crust cool completely so the warm pudding doesn’t soak into the crust,” she explains.

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Ina Garten’s chocolate banana cream pie recipe isn’t fussy

When Garten decorates the pie, she points out that making it overly fussy or fancy isn’t the goal. “This is a really earthy dessert,” she explains. “It’s very comfort food — this isn’t the time pipe whipped cream. This is the time to just slather it on.” (You can find the recipe on the Food Network website.)

Crust ingredients

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 to 12 crackers)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling ingredients

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 5 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups whole milk, scalded
  • 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder

Topping ingredients

  • 2 large bananas, sliced
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Milk chocolate, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until finely ground into crumbs. Combine the crust ingredients in a bowl, then press the mixture evenly into the bottom and sides of an 11-inch false bottom fluted pie tin. Bake the crust for 10 minutes and allow it to cool completely.

Make the pudding filling by first combining the sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, and salt in a mixer. Slowly add the scalded milk to the mixture, using a measuring cup for easy pouring. Add the mixture to a saucepan and cook it for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring until it thickens. Remove the custard from the heat and add the chocolate, butter, coffee liqueur, and instant coffee. Stir everything together until the chocolate has melted, tehn pour it over the crust.

Cover the pie with plastic wrap, pressing directly onto the chocolate filling to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate the pie for 6 hours.

Make the whipped cream by combining the cold heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla in an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat at medium-high speed until the cream forms firm peaks.

To decorate the pie, place sliced bananas on the top, then add a layer of whipped cream, allowing a ring of bananas to still be visible. Shave curls of milk chocolate on top of the pie as a garnish.