Ok, maybe not so much “Queen” – that would probably be Dorie, huh? Ok how about Princess?? Lady-In-Waiting? Court Jester?……..No? Ok fine. Just forget it, then….
The day has finally come, my friends. The day when I, myself, lil ‘ol me gets to choose the recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie. When I got the email reminding me my turn was coming up, you would’ve thought I’d won a Tony award or something- I was so excited! In fact, there may have been some girlish squealing involved….maybe. It didn’t take long for me to decide – I flipped through the book two or three times, called everybody I could think of, and finally chose the Banana Cream Pie – nothing fancy, new-fangled or trendy. Just classic, good old fashioned pie. I love pie. Probably more than I love most desserts. It’s simple. It’s homey. It’s classic. Kinda like me, I guess. Funnily enough, my good ‘ol hubby doesn’t really like pie! HA!
Believe it or not, this was my first ever banana cream pie – actually, my first cream pie, too! I love this recipe because it’s the way my great-grandmother made her cream pies- by slowly stirring the pastry cream over the stove top to get a rich, velvety pie filling. And I loved that little dash of cinnamon and nutmeg; it really gave it something special! And the sour cream in the topping…WOW. I think the topping may have been my favorite part!
I think the most important part about this pie is the crust. In my opinion, a pie is only as good as its crust and by-gosh, by-golly this crust recipe is as good as it gets! It’s simple and takes maybe 10 minutes to make. And it’s sooooo worth it, believe me! So don’t flake out on the crust (I’m so punny)- trust me, you want it with this pie!
To give this pie the ultimate taste test, I decided to make it for my parents last week. Everybody loved it. Loved the filling, loved the crust – it was a hit and I was very satisfied! Even hubby, who doesn’t really like pie loved it – yippee! I hope all the other TWD bakers had as much success with this recipe as I did.
This is where I would normally say, “If you would like the recipe, head over to so-and-so’s blog, yadda yadda…” , but today I get to post the recipe to share with everybody! So, ahem, if you would like the recipe for this delicious, awe-inspiring pie, just SCROLL DOWN, BABY!!
Banana Cream Pie
-Dorie Greenspan (AKA: The Queen)
For the Custard
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar, pressed through a sieve
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into bits
3 ripe but firm bananas
1 9-inch single crust made with Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough, fully baked and cooled
For the Topping
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sour cream
To Make the Custard: bring milk to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well blended and thick. Whisking without stopping, drizzle in about 1/4 of the hot milk- this will temper, or warm the yolks so they won’t curdle- then, still whisking, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking constantly (make sure to get into the edges of the pan), bring the mixture to a boil. Boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes before removing from heat.
Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the custard is smooth and silky. You can either press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the custard to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the custard until cold or, if you want to cool the custard quickly (as I always do) put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and stir occasionally until the custard is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes. (If it’s more convenient, you can refrigerate the custard, tighly covered, for up to 3 days.)
When you are ready to assemble the pie, peel the bananas and cut them on a shallow diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
Whisk the cold custard vigorously to loosen it, and spread about one quarter of it over the bottom of the piecrust- it will be a thin layer. Top with half of the banana slices. Repeat, adding a thin layer of pastry cream and the remaining bananas, then smooth the rest of the pastry cream over the last layer of bananas.
To Make the Topping: Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream until it just starts to thicken. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until the cream holds firm peaks. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the sour cream.
To Finish: Spoon the whipped cream over the filling and spread it evenly to the edges of the custard. Serve, or refrigerate until needed.
Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough
– makes enough for a 9-inch single crust –
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks very cold (frozen is fine) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
2 1/2 tablespoons very cold (frozen is even better) vegetable shortening, cut into 2 pieces
About 1/4 cup ice water
Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don’t overdo the mixing—what you’re aiming for is to have pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Pulsing the machine on and off, add 3 tablespoons of the water—add a little water and pulse once; add some more water and pulse again; and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn’t look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. If you’ve got big pieces of butter, that’s fine. The dough is ready and should be scraped out of the work bowl and on to a smooth work surface.
Shape the dough into a disk and wrap it. Refrigerate the dough at least 1 hour before rolling. (If the ingredients were very cold and you worked very quickly, you might be able to roll the dough immediately—you’ll know: the dough will be as cold as if it had just come out of the fridge.) The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
Have a buttered 9-inch pie plate at hand. You can roll the dough out on a floured surface or between sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap or in a rolling slipcover. If you’re working on the counter, turn the dough over frequently and keep the counter floured. If you’ve got time, slide the rolled out dough in the fridge for about 20 minutes to rest up and firm up.
To Fully Bake a Single Crust: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil (or use nonstick foil), fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust and fill with dried beans or rice or pie weights. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights and, if the crust has puffed, press it down with the side of a spoon (or lightly prick the crust). Return the pie to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes more, or until the crust is golden brown. Transfer the pie plate to a rack and cool to room temperature before filling.
I’d like to thank all of the TWD bakers for baking with me this week – and Dorie, for being so friggin’ amazing! I hope everybody enjoyed the pie!