Top Low Fat Banana Cream Pie With Real Whipped Cream Because Paunch Omitted

While this pie is rich, fragrant and decadent, it is significantly lightened up from the usual recipe. The filling is made from low-fat milk and enriched with egg yolks.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. To make the crust, process 14 graham cracker squares (7 full sheets) until finely ground. Add 2 Tbls butter softened and 1 Tbls water. Process until the crumbs clump together.

Press the mixture into the bottom of the pie plate and about 1 inch up the sides. Bake for another 10 minutes, then let it cool.

To make the filling, put the 1 1/2 Tbls unflavored gelatin in a small bowl; add 3 Tbls boiling water and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1/3 cup plus 1/2 tsp sugar and the flour. In a medium bowl, lightly beat 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk and two large egg yolks together.

Add the egg-and-milk mixture to the saucepan and whisk so the flour and sugar dissolve. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened. Stir in 1 tsp. vanilla extract and gelatin mixture. Set aside to cool slightly.

Arrange the 2 cups of 1/4-inch-thick slices (3 medium bananas) on the crust and pour the pudding on top. Refrigerate for about 3 hours, when the pudding sets.

Whip the cream in a medium bowl with an electric mixer. When it is about halfway to soft peaks, add the remaining 1/2 tsp sugar, then continue whipping until it barely holds a soft peak. Put the whipped cream into a plastic bag, snip the corner of the bag and pipe the whipped cream in a decorative pattern around the pie.

It will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 days in houses where no children reside. Makes 8 servings. One slice is but 218 calories.