Friday, March 2, 2007

Yes, We Have No Bananas

In this (hopefully) brave new world of green awareness, the Queen has decided that incorporating a form of recycled recipes is an appropriate way to augment our Pie Collection. This week’s featured concoction is a prime example: Banana Pudding Pie. Now most of you know this beloved southern dessert from its lower order – the simple but tasty banana pudding. Here it’s served -- with most of its delicious components intact, even improved upon -- in the form of our favorite dessert category.


You might recall that a Toll House cookie recipe was recently rendered in a similar way. What’s next? Think of that titillating parlor game played with fortune cookies. You know, the one where the phrase “in bed” is added to the end of the fortune to make the reading livelier. Perhaps the same could be done with “pie.” Tiramisu pie? (sounds promising to me) Ice cream pie? (oops, already done that) Brownie pie? (hmmm……not a bad idea at all) Pound cake pie? (uh, no)

If you’re fond of bananas (is there anyone who’s not?) and creamy vanilla pastry cream (ditto) and the airy fluff of meringue (50-50?), you’ll find this pie scrumptious. It’s not difficult to make, although it does require several distinct steps. One of those involves the grinding of a large amount of vanilla wafers in order to create the crust. As you can see, this particular pie was made with the assistance of a 6-year-old whirlwind, someone who found the grinding and smashing duty quite satisfying.


Alas, she was eager to hand over the whisk when it came time to make the pastry cream. 6-year-olds, you see, can be such specialists.


Warm Banana Pudding Pie
Adapted from Valerie Hill, Johnny’s Half Shell Restaurant

For the crust:

2 c. finely crushed vanilla wafers (about 45-50)
3 T. sugar
6 T. butter, melted

For the pastry cream:

½ c. sugar
¼ t. salt
¼ c. cornstarch
6 egg yolks
2 c. whole milk
2 T. butter, softened
1 t. vanilla extract

For the meringue:

5 egg whites
6 T. sugar
¼ t. cream of tartar

For the crust: Preheat oven to 350. Combine wafers, sugar, and melted butter and press into 9-inch pie plate. Bake 7-8 minutes, until golden brown. Allow crust to cool.

For the pastry cream: Combine sugar, salt, and cornstarch in large bowl. Add egg yolks and whisk for about 30 seconds. Put milk into medium saucepan and heat until bubbles begin to form around edges of pan. Remove heat from the pan and gradually whisk 3-5 tablespoons of milk into egg yolk mixture. Then whisk egg mixture back into saucepan of milk. On medium heat continue whisking until mixture becomes thick and starts to boil. Pour mixture into a bowl and stir in butter and vanilla. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate at least 3 hours.

For the meringue: Combine egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in bowl of standing mixer. Place pan over bowl of barely bubbling water and whisk for 2 minutes, until frothy and warm to the touch. Place bowl on mixer stand and beat on high speed until meringue is satiny with soft peaks.

To assemble: Preheat oven to 375. Cut bananas into ¼ inch slices and fold gently into pastry cream. Spoon mixture into vanilla wafer pie shell. Spread meringue over all, covering edges of filling completely, to seal. Use back of spoon to swirl meringue into decorative peaks. Bake for 10 minutes, until meringue is golden brown. Serve immediately.


Post a Comment

<< Home