Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie

For my research project in English class my topic is on doughs and batters and one of my little sub topics is pie. I don't have much experience making pie but I thought it couldn't be that difficult, theres 3 ingredients plus salt. I deffinitly need more practice lol, the crust came out good but its hard to work with pie dough. You have to barely handel the dough to prevent it from becoming tough. I used my food processor to combine the flour and fats (shortening and butter), but next time I will use a pastry blender to have more control over the size of the fat pieces. I am planning on making a savory pie, Quiche, this weekend and hopefully it will be prettier than the one pictured above. I was really disappointed I didn't have enough extra dough to make a pretty decorative border.

I am not by any means saying this pie wasn't good, it was delicious. The bottom of the crust is coated with chocolate to prevent sogginess, then theres a layer of sweet sliced bananas, filled with home made custard and topped with fresh sweetend whip cream and garnished with chocolate drizzle and more sliced bananas.

When I began baking this, I was way more intimidated to make the custard than the pie crust. I had never made custard before and was afraid I would end up with scrambled eggs and boiled milk all over the stove (this happened once making oatmeal, it NEVER comes off). I followed a recipe for pastry cream from The Simple Art of Perfect Baking, a very reliable cookbook, and it was surprisingly easy. I started off by simmering some whole milk and combining egg yokes, sugar and a little flour in a separate bowl. Then you first temper the eggs to prevent scrambling, and add them to the milk and simmer while whisking until it thickens. Just let it chill in the fridge and thats it!

I topped this pie with some fresh whipped cream to make it super decadent. Fresh whipped cream is incredibly easy and way better than anything in a can or a tub from the grocery store. It does, however, consist of heavy cream (sometimes called whipping cream) so its very high in calories and expensive, like $5 for a little carton. I highly recommend it for special occasions. All you really need is the heavy cream, if you like it sweet, like I do, put a few heaping tablespoons of powdered sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla in with the cream before you begin mixing.

Whip Cream

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 heaping tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Chill a metal bowl and your mixing utensils in the freezer for about 10 minutes, having them very cold helps the cream whip.
2. Combine all ingredients in the bowl and whip until peaks form. I use an electric mixer and it takes about three minutes, your shoulder will get tired.
3. Serve immediately.

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