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For as long as I can remember, I've left the jelly out of my PB&J in favor of sliced bananas. For me, peanut butter's sticky, salty goodness is just made to be paired with something a tiny bit sweet, and I think that that the addition of a ripe banana turns an ordinary peanut butter sandwich into something silky and luxurious. Since this combination works so well as an everyday sandwich, wouldn't it stand to reason that it would be dynamite as a pie filling?
To capture all of the best qualities of a peanut butter and banana sandwich in a pie, I worked from the crust up. Crushed Cracklin' Oat Bran cereal may sound like a strange choice, but its hearty oat flavor and satisfying crunch make perfect sense. The filling, a light peanut butter mousse, stays true to the flavor and texture of peanut butter, and is smoothed between layers of banana slices, and topped with just a little whipped cream. It's a simple pie that pays homage to my favorite sandwich. To take it one step further, you might consider crumbling candied bacon over the top, making it a Velvet Elvis.
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About the author: Lauren Weisenthal has logged many hours working in restaurant kitchens and bakeries of Brooklyn and Manhattan. She is a graduate of the Artisan Bread Baking and Pastry Arts programs at the French Culinary Institute and holds a CS certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. You can follow her on Twitter at @evillagekitchen.