Saturday, January 12, 2013

Banana Cream Pie

It's been quite a while since I've been asked to make dessert for a meal but that's what I was given to make for today's Shabbat lunch. Usually, my dessert brainstorming takes a ridiculous amount of my time but this time it was quick and painless! Banana cream pie! I had a couple of bananas laying around on my counter and I had serendipitously picked up a couple of pie crusts earlier Thursday after my frolic in the snow (yes, we got snow!) so I was all set for pie. Loyal readers of this blog will know I have a weakness for pie making and that I jump at the chance to make a cream pie (something about witnessing pastry cream thicken just does it for me!) so it was time for this classic to have its due. Finding a recipe proved to be a bigger challenge. Every book I own has a recipe for this pie but none were usable until I opened up the KAF Baker's Companion and settled on their version. It pretty  much doesn't get simpler than this and using store bought crust makes this even faster work. I made the filling the night before so it would have time to set properly and then topped with whipped cream at my leisure Friday morning. I chose to layer the bottom with banana instead of folding them into the pastry cream as some other recipes advise. It's up to you, either way you'll have a winning pie on your hands, just as this was.
Banana Cream Pie
From the Baker's Companion

1 store bought graham cracker or cookie crust

Pastry Cream Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 cups milk, any kind, I used soy
6 tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 tsp vanilla

Pie Filling:
2 medium sized bananas, sliced

1 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar (I used about a tbsp of regular because my whipped topping is pretty sweet already)

For the pastry cream: Place the sugar, flour, cornstarch, salt and eggs into a small bowl and whisk thoroughly. Heat the milk in a medium sized saucepan just until boiling. Add the hot milk to the egg mixture gradually, whisking to make everything smooth. Pour the liquid back into the saucepan and return to the heat , bringing it back to a boil. Stir constantly with a whisk to keep from getting lumpy. As soon as the pastry cream boils in the center, remove it from the heat and stir in the margarine and vanilla.
Place the sliced bananas into the prepared crust.

Pour the pastry cream over the bananas, smooth the top and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Chill overnight.
To finish the pie, whip the cream and vanilla together until the cream begins to thicken. Sprinkle I'm the sugar and whip until the cream holds its shape. Spoon on top of the pie making sure that all the edges are perfectly concealed. Swirl with the back of a spoon. Garnish as desired. Banana chips maybe??

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