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December 16, 2007



I saw this on my RSS feed and though, "No. Banana Cream Pie can't be British. It's not rolling around in treacle/ golden syrup!" Naw, I kid. (And it turns out it does have golden syrup. Ha.)

I tried a custard powder (not Bird's, though I did see one on a resort island of all places). I think it was made in Hong Kong/ China. Instructions: One rounded tablespoon with 3 tablespoons milk, stir to dissolve. Then boil a pint of milk and add it in. --> Wow. It totally looks like yellow milk. No change. Did I do something wrong? Should it be cooked always? Is the custard powder not any good? I ended up using the milk (waste not) in some real stovetop custard, with good old-fashioned egg yolks and cornstarch (there's cornstarch in the custard powder, so naturally it came out chunky).

The chocolate scrolls should be done when the chocolate is 37°C. Which as I understand Western weather, should occur half a second after you've poured the chocolate on the marble surface :) You may have better luck with a block of chocolate for a while under an electric blanket, then shaved with a vegetable peeler.


Happy Birthday to Sophie! Snowed in here and baking chocolate/raspberry thumbprints....xox


Ooh. This looks tasty. :)

I am probably going to feel compelled to track down golden syrup to make Anzac biscuits in April, so it's nice to know that it's available in this country.


Manggy - yeah, I quickly realised I'd let the chocolate get too cold on the slab. And while I was creating chocolate shrapnel and cursing, Ann silently held a block of the chocolate in front of my face and shaved off a perfect curl with the potato peeler. She's cruel, that woman!

Sounds to me like your custard powder was dodgy, or you needed to use more. Birds' has never let me down; it always thickens nicely.

Lisa - you're lucky to have snow. We have something like a cross between sleet and drizzle. Slizzle.

Adele - It's surprisingly tasty, especially the syrupy, chocolatey, biscuity base. I could eat that by itself, to be honest!


This pie was amazing! I think it's my new favorite dessert ever.


Sophie - you should have a go at making it next time you're over!


Manggy - I just noticed that your custard powder instruction only said to add the hot milk but not simmer it until it thickens. I bet that's the problem. You have to do that.


Ohhhh I think I can find all those ingredients at my local grocery store. I know they have the biscuits and the syrup ... the custard powder looks suspiciously familiar too. Banana creme pie is my f-in-law's favorite -- and if I make this for him, I might be able to dodge seeking and failing to find an appropriate birthday gift (his birthday is on Christmas Day). Thanks!

Deborah Dowd

I absolutely love Lyle's, and this recipe sounds terrific! Great blog, I'll be back!


Deborah - thanks for dropping by. Good to see some American Lyle's appreciators! It really is a hell of a tasty syrup. Off to check out your blog now...


Okay -- found the syrup, found the biscuits -- no luck with the custard powder -- found Ambrosia Devon Custard and figured it might be close enough. Was so pleased with the custard that I FORGOT to add the whipping cream and so the pie never stabilized and thus became a pudding instead -- plopped it into irish coffee cups and topped it with the aforementioned forgotten whipping cream. On the plus side, the crust was delicious! Definitely a re-do is in order. Thanks!


Marla - nice try, by the sound of it! Even if the custard doesn't work out quite right the ingredients still taste good, and that crust is definitely a killer.

The cream doesn't thicken the custard though, so it sounds like your problem was more with the custard itself than forgetting to mix the cream into it. Was it a ready made-up one or some other brand of powder?


It was prepared -- canned (sheepish grin) -- tasted great though -- I figured the whipping cream might give it a bit of stiffness -- the last time I made banana cream pie I used a vanilla pudding which turned out quite nice. One way or the other, I'm definitely repeating the crust! Besides, my f-in-law and daughter are more than happy to eat as many banana-cream-not-quite-perfect-pies as I can manage.


Found it! I found Bird's custard powder. I'll be trying this out again on Sunday. Hooray!


Jack--I grew up eating Lyle's golden syrup on cold Yorkshire pudding the day after a Sunday roast beef, and also in a concoction called treacle tart. i recently rediscovered Lyle's at Whole Foods and use it as a...er...healthier substitute for corn syrup in my Thanksgiving pecan pie. Really gorgeous stuff--beautiful rich flavor.

Bird's custard is still an essential ingredient in our family Christmas trifle--I love the stuff not only in trifle but on fruit compote and crumble. Can't wait to try this recipe. I love the blog, by the way, sorry you guys aren't adding to it these days.

For Americans reading here, you can find Bird's at Indian spice shops and also in grocery stores catering to Caribbean communities. Best, Sophie

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