Banana Cream Pie [gluten-free]

What kind of pie doesn’t need to be baked? Sometimes creative challenges lead you to the most delicious solutions. We don’t have an oven at Bonnaroo, so instead of baking bread, we grill it. And instead of baking pie or other sweets, we make desserts that don’t need any oven time – like this banana cream pie.

Our rockstar crush Lizzo told us, “This banana cream pie is like, ‘F-you!’” Agreed. And not only is it so f-ing good, the crust also happens to be gluten-free, raw, and vegan.

INGREDIENTS (serves 8, makes 1 pie)



  • 1 cup [3 1/2 ounces] pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups [5 1/4 ounces] shredded, dried, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 [2 ounces] soft Medjool dates, pitted
  • coconut oil spray [or melted coconut oil]


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 2 medium [3 ounces] eggs
  • 1 large [1/2 ounce] egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons [3/4 ounce] cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup [4 ounces] sugar
  • heaping 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • opt: handful dried banana chips

EQUIPMENT food processor, pie tin, electric scale, whisk, mesh strainer, electric beater, opt: pastry bag and tips



CRUST: Combine the nuts and coconut in a food processor and process until it becomes fine crumbs. Add the sea salt and dates and process until the mixture starts to come together when squeezed. Measure 10 1/2 ounces of mixture into each pie tin. Press into the bottom and up the sides of pie-tin, sprayed with non-stick coconut oil spray. Place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

FILLING: Add scraped vanilla seeds and pod to milk and cream in a heavy-bottomed pot. Bring close to a boil, then remove from heat.

Meanwhile, beat together eggs, egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar, and salt with a whisk. To avoid scrambled eggs, temper the egg mixture by slowly whisking in the hot milk. Cook over low heat until thickened, whisking often. It will continue to thicken as it cools.

In case you inadvertently curdle the custard, you can still save it by whizzing the mixture in a blender or with an immersion blender.

Strain through a mesh strainer and into a shallow bowl or pan. This will remove the vanilla bean pods and any clumps. Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge or an ice bath to cool.

TOPPING: Whip the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla together with an electric beater until soft peaks form.

To assemble banana cream pie, lay sliced bananas in the bottom of the pie-shell. Spread about 1 1/2 cups of pastry cream on top of bananas. Fill a pastry bag with whipping cream and decorate, either covering the entire pie or just the edges. Garnish with dried banana chips [optional].



Whip it, whip it good. If whipping cream, it helps to start with a cold bowl, but it’s not necessary. If you remember, stick a bowl into the freezer or fridge for a few minutes up to an hour. You’ll need an electric mixer and beaters, a bowl, whipping cream, and a sweetener. Add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, or a couple teaspoons of sugar [either powdered or granulated] to start, and see how sweet you like it. Taste testing is just one of the perks of helping out.

Put your biceps into it. Don’t have an electric mixer? Find a whisk, and you’ve just found yourself a new party game. Pass the bowl from guest to guest and have them beat that whipping cream until their right arm has had enough! Then they pass it to the next guest.  Eventually, you’ll have whipped cream!




FILLING: Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of instant espresso or coffee to the milk and cream. Follow the other steps and ingredients, as is.

TOPPING:  Instead of bananas on the bottom, make a chocolate ganache by combining equal parts semi-sweet chocolate and cream [for one pie, 1 ounce chocolate and 1 ounce cream. One ounce of chocolate is about half of a chocolate bar]. Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Keep an eye on the cream — it’s not necessary to boil or simmer it. It just needs to get hot, and then you can take it off the stove.

Chop the chocolate into fine pieces and add to the cream. Let sit for a few minutes to melt. And then stir with a spatula until it comes together. Let cool slightly before pouring onto the crust. If you’re not using it immediately, store the ganache in the fridge.

Swirl the ganache around or spread with a spatula to cover the bottom of the crust. Scoop about 2 cups of cooled coffee cream into the pie. Spread with an offset spatula to smooth, and then top with whipping cream and dust with cocoa powder.