From the menu of: Buckhead Diner

From the menu of … Buckhead Diner, 3073 Piedmont Road, Atlanta. 404-262-3336,

Q: My best friend, who lives in another state, loves the White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie from Buckhead Diner. Whenever she comes to Atlanta she always makes a point of going to the Buckhead Diner so that she can taste a piece of the delicious pie. We are going to visit her for her 50th birthday this year, and I would love the recipe so I can make one for her special day! — Michelle Foley, Duluth

A: This pie has been on the menu of the Buckhead Diner for more than 20 years. The origins of the recipe are lost in the mists of time, but everyone agrees Buckhead Life Restaurant Group's founder and chief executive officer I. Pano Karatassos had a hand in it.

Buckhead Diner’s White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

1/2 pound unsalted butter, cut into cubes

3 eggs, divided

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon corn starch

3/4 cup half and half

10 ounces shaved white chocolate, divided

2 cups heavy cream

6 medium-ripe bananas, cut into chunks

1 tablespoon banana liqueur

1 tablespoon creme de cacao

Cocoa powder, for garnish

Prepare tart shell: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix flour and 1/2 cup sugar on low speed. Add butter and process until mixture begins to resemble crumbs. Add 1 egg and vanilla and increase speed. Process until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Remove dough, form a disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours.

When ready to bake the tart shell, arrange a 10-inch fluted tart pan in a rimmed baking sheet. Heavily grease tart pan.

Remove dough from refrigerator and knead dough on a lightly floured surface it has softened slightly. Roll into a circle 1/8-inch thick. Gently transfer to prepared tart pan. Press dough into corners and trim edges. If dough tears, patch with extra dough. Chill prepared shell at least two hours before baking.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk 1 egg to make an egg wash.

Brush prepared shell with egg wash and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing the shell from the tart pan. Gently place the tart shell on a cake board or serving plate. May be wrapped airtight and prepared up to one day ahead.

Prepare pastry cream: In a small bowl, whisk together remaining egg, 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar and cornstarch.

In a medium saucepan, bring half-and-half to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and slowly whisk in sugar mixture, whisking continuously. Increase heat to medium and bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk in 2 ounces white chocolate. Set aside to cool.

Make filling: Whip cream with remaining 1/2 cup sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in prepared pastry cream. Add bananas, banana liqueur and creme de cacao, being careful not to deflate the mixture. Spread filling in prepared tart shell. Cover with remaining white chocolate shavings and sprinkle lightly with cocoa. Serve within the hour. Serves: 12

Per serving: 626 calories (percent of calories from fat, 58), 6 grams protein, 62 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 42 grams fat (25 grams saturated), 154 milligrams cholesterol, 46 milligrams sodium.