Chocoholic: Chocolate Banana Dream Pie

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[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

People who ask me to name my favorite pie are always sorry they did so because the answer is far from straightforward. "Do you want me to tell you my favorite custard pie?" That would be coconut. "Or should I tell you my favorite chocolate pie? Chocolate pudding. "Favorite fruit pie?" Well that could be sour cherry, peach, or rhubarb, depending on the day. I love all pies really, and even more when I'm not the one making them.

Just kidding.

I often experiment with my pies, combining creams, fruits, and other fillers. This pie was inspired by my love for both banana cream pie and the awesome "dream whip" pie: a light and airy concoction made with packaged whipped topping and boxed pudding mix.

Knowing that a scratch version would be oh so much better than a powder, I whipped up a concentrated chocolate pudding, chock full with 10 ounces of 70 percent cacao bittersweet chocolate, and lightened it to creamy heights with cups of satiny whipped cream. Before spooning it into my go to, press-in-the-pan, no-bake chocolate cookie crust, I scattered in a layer of ripe sweet bananas. I will admit, though I'm a bona fide chocoholic, a plain graham cracker crust would perhaps have been a more balanced flavor choice. But who am I kidding, because when it comes to chocolate, restraint should be futile.