Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nom, nom, nom...can't stop eating banana cream pie

Great googly moogly, I've created a masterpiece. The boyfriend loves banana cream pie above all other culinary treats, and being the adoring girlfriend I am, I had to try my hand at making one for him. I've never given much thought to banana based desserts and rarely order them for myself, but it turns out that banana cream pie might just be one of the most delicious things to eat...EVER.

I scoped out all of my usual recipe resources for the perfect version. Many I found included rum, or broke from tradition with ingredients like cookie dough for the crust or curry. All of those sounded interesting, but I wanted to stick with the old school version for my first attempt at it. In the end, I chose one from Epicurious, courtesy of Bon Appetit Magazine.

Banana Cream Pie



2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 pounds total), peeled, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices


For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and mashed banana in large bowl to blend. Add unsalted butter and stir to moisten evenly. Press onto bottom and up sides of 10-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

Bake crust until set and pale golden, about 15 minutes. Cool completely.

For filling:
Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt in heavy medium saucepan to blend. Gradually whisk in whipping cream and whole milk, then egg yolks. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add vanilla bean. Whisk over medium-high heat until custard thickens and boils, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in unsalted butter and vanilla extract. Discard vanilla bean. Transfer custard to large bowl; cool completely, whisking occasionally, about 1 hour.

Stir custard to loosen, if necessary. Spread 1 cup custard over bottom of prepared crust. Top with half of sliced bananas, then 1 cup custard, covering bananas completely. Repeat layering with remaining bananas and remaining custard. Chill banana cream pie until filling is set and crust softens slightly, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day. Cut pie into wedges and serve.

I'm not a neat chef on a good day, but I created a particularly unholy mess pulling this together. The corn starch was the primary culprit - damn if that stuff doesn't fly everywhere but in the bowl!

I have a bad habit of only skimming a recipe before I start cooking, and this time it backfired on me. While the crust was chilling, I was making the custard. My goal was to get the whole pie together and chilling in the fridge in time to make a11:30 pilates class, so I was dismayed to see that the custard had to chill and be stirred for an hour before you put the pie together.

After much running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and discussing options with my mom, I decided the custard could survive without being stirred while I went to the class (if I'm going to eat pies thenI gotta stay fit!). And survive it did, with no repercussions for my lax stirring ways. I also had to use a 9.5 inch pie pan as it was all that I had, but the missing half inch in diameter didn't seem to cause any problems.

As per usual, my pie isn't especially beautiful, but my goodness it is fricking delicious. We topped our slices with a bit of whipped cream, and each bite was creamy, lightly sweet, banana heaven. This recipe is far less cloying than the overly banana-y versions that use banana pudding instead of custard and the crust adds a nice crunch to all that creaminess. It's so good, I just had a slice for lunch and it put a big lip smacking smile on my face. The boyfriend has been forewarned, I might just eat this whole thing while he's not looking, and he'll have to get my sugar-overdose stomach pumped. It'll be worth it!



Related Posts with Thumbnails