Banana Cream Pie

It’s been a couple of weeks now that I’ve been craving for pies. It’s funny because I consider myself more of a cake person than a pie person. I must confess that I’m even usually a little disappointed when invited over for dinner and learn that we’ll be served pie for dessert (ok, maybe not that disappointed, because after all, I’m definitely a sweets person).

A little while ago, I bought Martha Stewart’s Pies & Tarts book, enticed by the picture on the cover (curiously, the same thing happened with her Cupcakes and Cookies books). I looked at the pictures over and over, drooling, and the book finally ended up sitting on my shelf since (once again, the same happened with its other fellows). But, enough! Today I decided it was time to start to make these books cost-effective: I made a banana cream pie! I don’t think I ever had that type of pie before, and let me tell you it is rich, but so delicious! The banana cream was so fragrant, and it might have been a little too banana-ey by itself, but the cream balanced it out perfectly.

I can’t wait to try another pie recipe from this book. In fact, I might as well make one this weekend. So many of them seem so good, how am I to chose, though? Should I just flip the book open at any page and just bake the featured pie? That could be an idea…

Recipe (Adapted from Martha Stewart)
Yield: 1x9 inch pie

Your favourite pâte brisée
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 ripe bananas, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
1 ½ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Chocolate curls, for garnish

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough and fit in a 9-inch plate. Pierce the bottom of the shell all over with a fork. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425oF. Line shell with parchment and fill with pie weights (or dried beans). Bake until the hedges turn gold, 15 to 18 minutes. Reduce heat to 375oF. Remove weights and parchment, and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Combine granulated sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in milk, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling and thick, about 7 minutes (2 minutes after it comes to a boil).

Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl until combined. Add milk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking until completely incorporated. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it returns to a boil, 1 to 2 minutes.

Pour milk mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. Add butter, and stir until melted. Fold in bananas. Pour into crust. Press plastic wrap directly on surface of custard. Refrigerate until filling is set, about 4 hours.

In a chilled bowl, beat together cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Spread whipped cream over filling. Shape topping into peaks using a spatula or a spoon. Sprinkle chocolate curls on top, and serve immediately.

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