Bring on the bananas for a classic 2-crust pie


POSTED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010

For true banana lovers, a cream pie just won't cut it. Sure, it's all light like a cloud and the whipped cream melts in your mouth—but the bananas? Almost an afterthought. Any kind of fruit could be in there.

If you love bananas, what you really need is a double-crust banana pie. The filling is bananas, cinnamon, bananas, pineapple juice, butter and bananas. Purity, practically.

The gold standard is the banana pie from Flamingo Restaurant in Pearl City and now available takeout from Flamingo Mart on Piikoi Street (Erika Engle wrote about the new mart in “;Buzz”; just yesterday; visit to read all about it).

Stan Rivera wrote to me about “;an incredible two-crust banana pie”; that he used to buy from “;a dinky cafe on School and Liliha streets.”; Now that he lives in Los Angeles, and that mystery cafe being long gone anyway, he counts that pie among his finest eating-in-Hawaii memories.

Another correspondent, Ed Arita, included the double-crust banana pie as one of his baking goals.

This recipe comes from “;What Hawaii Likes to Eat”; (Mutual Publishing, 2007, $31.95), the cookbook I wrote with Muriel Miura. The recipe is Muriel's and dates to her days as a home economist with the Gas Co. in the 1960s.

“;Because the pie was always popular, I experimented a bit and tried to duplicate the old Flamingo's pie, which was loved by many,”; she says. “;Add more chunks of butter on the banana slices before covering it with the second crust and you've got a winner!”;


4 cups sliced firm-ripe apple bananas
1/2 cup pineapple juice
Pastry for double-crust pie
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Soak sliced bananas in pineapple juice for 20 to 30 minutes; drain, reserving pineapple juice.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line pie pan with pastry dough.

Combine bananas, sugar, cinnamon and 2 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice; toss to mix. Pour mixture into pastry-lined pie plate; dot with butter. Cover with top crust and crimp to seal. Bake 30 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Nutritional information unavailable.

Can you help?

Alas, few recipe requests can be dealt with simply by opening my own cookbook. Here are two that I consider real long shots, but if you can solve either mystery, please get in touch.

» Gail La Roque writes of childhood outings to a drugstore in Waikiki for coconut cream pie. “;My sisters and I still dream about that pie, and have never found an equal. Unfortunately, because we were children, we don't recall the name of the drugstore nor the street that it was on. But we certainly remember that pie! It was mile high and had the most delicious topping ... none of that fake whipped topping that is ubiquitous nowadays. Any chance your readers may know the history of this drugstore and hopefully the recipe for their pie?”;

» Doris Lum is hungry for the Hungarian goulash served at the Kuhio Elementary School cafeteria in the 1950s, when a Mrs. Mori was in charge. “;Also from the same era was her Spanish rice recipe, which was delicious.”; OK, who knows Mrs. Mori? Or who's got her recipe collection?