Banana Rum Cream Pie

The rum and gelatin give this pie a richer taste and satisfying firmness. Vanilla wafer biscuits can be used in place of butter cookies if desired. Garnish pie with fresh banana slices.

1 ½ cups finely ground butter cookies
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

7 ripe bananas, divided
3/4 cup whole milk
8 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups heavy cream

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°(F). Butter the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. In a small bowl, combine the ground butter cookies and melted butter. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until lightly browned; set aside to cool.

Cut 5 of the bananas into 1-inch pieces and combine with the milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Puree this banana mixture until smooth. Pour into a medium bowl and stir the white chocolate into the mixture until completely melted; set aside to cool.

Place the dark rum in a small microwave-safe bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over and let stand for 5 minutes to soften. Microwave the gelatin mixture on HIGH for 7 seconds until melted. Let stand 2 minutes. Stir ½ cup of the banana mixture into the gelatin. Fold the banana gelatin mixture into the remainder of the banana puree and set aside.

Whip the cream until stiff peaks start to form. Stir 1/4 of the cream into the banana filling to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whipped cream in three additions. The filling may have a slightly grainy appearance. Cut the remaining bananas into 1/4-inch pieces. Place the banana slices evenly over the bottom of the crust. Spoon the filling into the cooled crust and refrigerate for 5 hours or overnight until set.

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