Banana Cream Pie in Jars

For my parents party, as mentioned in the previous post, we served pie since they prefer that to cake. I toyed around with making several regular sized pies but wanted something that was a little more portable and easy to serve. Thanks to my Pinterest obsession I was inspired to make the pies in small canning jars. The steps may seem a little tedious but I recommend having all the components ready, then these will come together in a snap.

Banana Cream Pie in Jars.
Serves 24
2 boxes of Nilla wafers
1 1/2 sticks of butter melted
6 bananas
6 cups whole milk
16 egg yolks
Seeds scraped from 2 vanilla beans
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup butter at room temperature
4 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Dried banana slices
24 half pint canning jars

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Crush the wafers to very fine crumbs. Mix with the melted butter until the mixture resembles sand and sticks together when a handful is squeezed. Divide the crumb mixture between the 24 jars, approximately 2 heaping tablespoons. Firmly press the crumbs into the bottom of the jar. Bake for 8 minutes, set aside to cool completely.

Once cool, place 5 or 6 slices of banana on top of the crust.

Make the pastry cream filling. In a large saucepan heat the milk and vanilla bean till the milk comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until light in color. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently whisk in the cornstarch. Pour about 1/3 of the hot milk into the egg mixture whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Next pour the tempered eggs back into the milk and place the pan over medium heat. Stir constantly but gently with a whisk until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the mixture boil for 30 seconds stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Strain through a sieve into a bowl to remove any cooked eggs or lumps, cover with plastic wrap and cool completely. This can be made up to 3 days ahead. Spoon evenly among the 24 jars, approximately a heaping 1/4 cup.

Combine the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on high speed until soft peaks are formed.  Divide the whipping cream among the jars. You'll use approximately 1/4 cup of the whipped cream to cover the pastry cream, garnish with a dried banana slice and chill until ready to serve, not more than 4 hours.

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