July 27, 2009

That Pie is Bananas


Yeah, I hate that song, too. Sorry I just got it stuck in your head. But this pie makes everything better! I don't usually go for banana cream pie. Most often, it has a fake, sickly sweet pudding filling and it just reminds me of that icky banana pudding with nilla wafers that people seem to loooove. *gag*

This recipe was a TWD rotation in April, but I skipped out because of my banana pudding phobia. After reading all the posts, I realized how wrong I had been. Instead of a sickly sweet pudding filling, this pie uses a brown sugar & cinnamon custard that's layered between the sliced bananas. It's all topped with a tangy whipped cream that doesn't overpower with sweetness. In a word? Divine.

Alex and I had his parents over for dinner on Sunday night and had a great time. We served grilled honey-mustard salmon, brown rice, grilled vegetables and Alex's mom made a caesar salad. His sister came over for dessert and I busted out my brand new Mr. Coffee (see Mom? You can have coffee next time you visit!).

This pie was the perfect end to a delicious dinner. It's a little messy, and hard to cut nice pretty slices, but it didn't matter.

2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
½ cup (packed) light brown sugar, pressed through a sieve
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 TBS cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
3 ripe but firm bananas
1 9-inch single crust, baked and cooled (I used a pre-made crust because of time limits and the fact that it's too dang hot to fuss with pie dough)

1 cup cold heavy cream
2 TBS confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 TBS sour cream

If you're using a pre-made crust, bake it off according to instructions and allow to cool fully before filling.

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 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.
This pie is best served immediately after assembled.


Joelen said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This and your recent recipes all look wonderful! I've been on a slight commenting hiatus with my busy schedule lately... but it's great to catch up and see what's cooking in your kitchen!

Anonymous said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

YUM. Sounds delicious.