Seriously, are these little jars filled with creamy peanut butter and banana lusciousness not the cutest things ever? I could just eat them up with a spoon. As a matter of fact, I did just that and they were wonderful. These peanut butter banana cream pies in a jar include all of the components of a classic pie, except they're layered in small, self-contained, single-serving jars. Pretty clever, huh?
To make the "crust" for my "pies," I pulverized some vanilla wafers into crumbs and mixed them with a little sugar and melted butter. Then, I pressed a thin layer of the mixture down into the bottom of each jar. After that, I added layers of homemade vanilla bean pastry cream, sliced bananas and peanut butter crumblies that I made by blending crunchy peanut butter and powdered sugar together. After they were assembled, I snapped on the lids and stored them in the fridge until I was ready to serve them. Honestly, I could have slurped down that whole bowl of pastry cream all by itself. Mixed with the other ingredients, it was completely off the charts.
I love the idea that everybody gets his own individual portion. It's a lot easier than slicing up a pie and a lot more fun. Think about it. You could literally do this with any kind of pie ingredients. The possibilities are endless. Deliciously and gloriously endless!
Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie in a Jar
1 cup vanilla wafers, finely crushed
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups vanilla bean pastry cream (recipe follows)
2 bananas, thinly sliced
Whipped cream for garnish (optional)
1. Combine the cookie crumbs, sugar and melted butter together in a small bowl and mix well until it resembles wet sand. Put 1/4 of the mixture into the bottom of each jar and press down to form a crust.
2. In another bowl, combine the peanut butter and powdered sugar. Using an electric mixer, mix on low speed until incorporated and the mixture looks like little pebbles. You will have more than you need. You can mix the leftovers into some vanilla ice cream.
3. Sprinkle a thin layer of the peanut butter crumblies into each jar, and place a layer of banana slices on top. Then, spoon a layer of pastry cream on top of the bananas. Continue layering the components in the same order until the jars are filled. Close jars and chill until ready to serve.
4. Serve with a sprinkling of the peanut butter crumblies and a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.
Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream
Loosely adapted from Tartine Bakery
2 cups half and half
1 vanilla bean, cut open down the middle, seeded
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons of cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in small cubes
1. Heat the half and half, vanilla seeds, pod and salt in medium saucepan over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 10-15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean pod and reserve for another use. Put half and half back on heat and bring to a slight simmer.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, cornstarch and eggs until smooth and pale yellow. Slowly add 1/2 of the hot half and half mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a clean bowl. Let cool for 10 minutes and then incorporate the butter, a little at a time, until smooth. Cover the surface with plastic wrap, directly touching the cream and let cool completely. Chill until ready to use.