from Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman of Andrew Michaels Italian Kitchen in Memphis, TN
12 ounces (1 box) Nilla Wafers
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
For Vanilla Filling
½ cup granulated sugar, divided
6 tablespoons whole milk
¾ cup heavy cream
½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
1 large egg yolk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons cornstarch
For Peanut Butter Filling
1 pound creamy peanut butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup heavy cream
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3 bananas, sliced
1 cup whipped cream
1 cup broken peanut brittle, crushed with rolling pin into small pieces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For crust, pulse cookies in food processor until consistency of fine crumbs. Pour crumbs into a bowl, add butter, and stir until evenly moistened. Press mixture into bottom and sides of an 8-inch round pie pan. Bake until crust is slightly dark and firm, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
For vanilla filling, in a heavy saucepan, combine 6 tablespoons of the sugar and 2 tablespoons water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer until sugar has dissolved, about 10 minutes. Add milk, cream, and vanilla bean/seeds. Let simmer, then remove from heat.
In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolk, egg, cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons of sugar for about 2 minutes. While whisking, pour half of the milk mixture into the bowl. While whisking, pour warmed egg mixture into the saucepan with the remaining milk mixture and place over medium heat. Using wooden spoon, stir until mixture thickens, after about 5 minutes. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat and quickly pour into a bowl to cool.
For peanut butter filling, place peanut butter and both sugars into a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium until mixture is firm enough to shape into a ball in your palm. Place mixture in a bowl. Wash and return mixing bowl to the stand, and add whisk attachment.
Put cream into mixer and mix on high until stiff peaks form. Place in a bowl. Add cream cheese in the mixer, fit with paddle attachment, and beat on medium for about 5 minutes. Add peanut butter mixture and mix for another 2 minutes. Fold in whipped cream until incorporated.
For assembly, spread a layer of the vanilla pudding into crust. Arrange a layer of sliced bananas on top of pudding, then spread layer of peanut butter filling on top. Smooth the top and refrigerate for 3 hours.
To serve, cut into wedges. Use small fluted tip to pipe the whipped cream decoratively onto pie. Top each slice with crushed peanut brittle and serve immediately.