Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie

Desserts & Chocolate
This was the pie that I served as part of a platter of six desserts, in my show “The Fried Chicken Theory According to Jackie Gordon: an evening of sultry soul food and sweet soul music.”. It is how I earned the nickname “The Pimp Of Pie”.
Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie


  • Graham Cracker Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Espresso Chocolate Ganache
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • Vanilla Pastry Cream
  • 2 cups milk 

  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 egg yolks 

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 

  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • Stabilized Whipped Cream
  • 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons water 

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold

  • 1/4 cup sugar 

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate shavings
  • Banana chips (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs with butter and sugar till well mixed. Press mixture evenly along the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 8 minutes; cool before filling.
  3. In a food processor, fitted with steel knife, chop chocolate till fine.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat cream until tiny bubbles appear around the edge of the pan. Remove from heat.
  5. With processor running, pour warm cream into chocolate and process until melted and smooth. Turn off machine. Make sure you stir in any chocolate that’s caught in the edges of the bowl of the food processor. Stir in espresso powder. Pour chocolate mixture into crumb crust and cool in refrigerator until firm.
  6. Whisk egg yolks with sugar in a large bowl. Add corn starch, flour and stir until smooth; set aside. Pour milk in large saucepan. Split the vanilla bean in half length-wise and add to the milk. Over high heat, bring mixture just to a boil and remove from heat. Take out the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds back into the milk. Discard the bean.
  7. Whisk half of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Then mix the now warm egg mixture into the saucepan with the remaining milk.  Return the saucepan to medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Pour pastry cream through a fine strainer, into a bowl and whisk in the butter. Cool slightly. Cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and cool in the refrigerator until cold.
  8. Once pastry cream is cold, slice bananas in rounds and place cut side down in one layer on top of chocolate ganache. Make sure bananas lay flat.
  9. Spoon the pastry cream over the bananas and smooth with a rubber spatula to make sure the bananas are completely covered (if they’re exposed to air they will turn brown). Pastry cream should thoroughly cover chocolate ganache layer and touch the crust. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until firm.
  10. Combine gelatin and cold water in small heatproof measuring cup or saucepan, and mix thoroughly. Place over low heat, stirring constantly just until gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  11. Whip cream, sugar and vanilla until it thickens slightly. In a steady stream, slowly beat gelatin into whipped cream mixture thoroughly. Add vanilla and whip on high speed until stiff, but not dry.
  12. Remove pie from refrigerator. Put whipped cream in a pastry bag and pipe it over pastry cream in a decorative manner. You may have to use half the mixture at a time. Chill.
  13. Before serving, decorate top of pie with chocolate shavings and banana chips. You can use chocolate chips, curls, sprinkles or cocoa too.
Total time:
Yield: 1 9" pie, 8 servings


The cook time doesn’t include the time it will take to cool the pastry cream and the ganache. You need to allow extra time for that.
You can make this pie in a the middle of summer by baking the crust in a toaster oven. I find that cookie crusts come out better in the toaster oven. It may be that the heat is more intense and concentrated than in the a large oven.