Friday, July 29, 2011

Banana Cream Pie

With the combination of the summer heat and being at the end of my pregnancy cooking is the last thing I have wanted to do. This is one of the few things I have made.

Banana Cream Pie

For the crust: (Or just use a pre-made frozen crust)
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3 tbsp. very cold water

For the pastry cream and filling:
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
3 ripe but firm bananas, plus extra for garnish (if desired)

For the topping:
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract

To make the crust, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar and salt.  Add in the butter and toss with a fork to combine.  Mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Mix in the water on low speed just until the dough comes together.  Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425° F.  Transfer the chilled dough to a lightly floured work surface.  Roll out the dough into a thin round large enough to fit a 9-inch round pie plate.  Carefully transfer the dough to the pie plate, trim the edges and use your thumb and fingers to crimp the edge.  Cover with a piece of foil or parchment paper, and fill the pie plate with baking beads (dried beans or rice works too.)  Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust is nearly set.  Remove the foil and baking beads and bake the crust uncovered for 5 more minutes, or until it is completely baked and light golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

In the meantime, make the pastry cream.  Bring the milk to a boil.  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well blended and thick.

Whisking without stopping, drizzle in about ¼ cup of the hot milk to temper the eggs so that they don’t curdle.
Then, still whisking, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream.  Put the pan over medium heat and, still whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil.  Allow to boil, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes before removing from the 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.  Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the custard and refrigerate until cold.

When you are ready to assemble the pie, peel the bananas and cut them diagonally into ¼-inch thick slices.

Whisk the chilled custard to loosen it, then spread about a quarter of it over the cooled pie crust (this will be a thin layer).  Top with a layer of 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, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream just until it starts to thicken.  Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat until the cream holds firm peaks.  Spoon the topping over the pie filling and spread to cover the edges of the custard.

Garnish with extra banana slices, if desired.  Slice and serve (this pie is best eaten the day it is made.)

Recipe Source: Annie's Eats

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