Don't you just hate how whenever you don't need something, it's always there but the moment you need it, it just disappears? That's basically the state of food in my household...as well as spices, creams, and other random ingredients. I swear to you there is an overabundance of them every other day of my life but the second I decide to make something and I actually need them, it turns out we have magically run out. In this week's case, it was bananas.
I'm not lying when I say we ALWAYS have bananas in the house. I know this because I'm usually the one who ends up getting sent to buy more whenever we're about to run out. God forbid we ever ran out. The men in my house gotta have their shakes and smoothies. Every single day. It's like a ritual. So can someone please tell me why is it that even after I had announced that I was going to be making banana cream pie this week, I find one banana left in the pantry the day of?
Needless to say, I went and bought some bananas. It turns out I had to pick up some heavy cream anyway. Speaking of which, I'm making the dairy industry very, very rich. Heavy cream is never on sale for some odd reason and to spare myself wasting extra money on gas, I buy it at the closest supermarket where it costs more than the one sold in the farther supermarket. It's a good thing that every dish/dessert I've used heavy cream in has turned out amazing, or else I'd be pretty mad.
Fortunately, there were no resultant emotions of anger from using heavy cream in this pie either. There were no negative emotions at all, for that matter. Just feelings of pure bliss and satisfaction. You know how they show those people in television commercials closing their eyes, smiling, overwhelmed with ecstasy by some type of food they're eating? That was me today. No joke. That really does happen in real life. Especially when you're eating something as delicious as this banana cream pie.
Some people think it's the crust that makes the pie, other people think it's the filling. Whichever opinion you may follow, you'll be pleased to know that this pie has both. A tender and flaky crust with perfect buttery flavor and a decadently rich and creamy custard filling. Together, they create an incredibly mouthwatering dessert.
And addicting too. I'm talking, you can't even pass by the kitchen without opening the fridge and sneaking yourself a bite. True story. My mom couldn't stay away. Her exact words were "It just makes you want to keep eating it!" I couldn't have said it better myself mama.
My past chocolate banana cream pie may have set the bar pretty high, but this pie had no problem reaching it AND going over it...just like an Olympic pole vault champion.
Banana Cream PieYield: One 9-inch pie
Ingredients:For the crust:1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling dough1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon sugar8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces2 tablespoons ice water, plus 2 more, if neededFor the custard filling:3 cups whole milk3/4 cup white sugar1/3 cup all-purpose flour1/4 teaspoon salt3 egg yolks, lightly beaten2 tablespoons butterpinch of vanillin powder (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)4-6 bananas, depending on size, slicedFor the whipped ceam topping:1 and 1/2 cups heavy creampinch of vanillin powder (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)1/4 cup powdered sugarsliced almonds, for garnish if desired
Directions:For the crust:Preheat oven to 350°In a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt, and sugar several times to combine. Add butter. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, the size of peas.Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers (if needed, add up to 2 tablespoons more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Do not over process.Turn dough out onto a work surface; form into a 3/4-inch-thick disk. Wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.Before baking, unwrap dough; place it on a large floured surface. Roll the dough to a 14-inch round. Place the pie dish upside down and trim the dough around the pie plate, leaving an extra inch of dough. Carefully, flip the dough and pie plate over. Gently fit the dough into the bottom and up the sides of plate.Fold overhang under itself. Pinch between thumb and forefinger to make a crimped edge around the rim.Place a sheet of parchment paper over the formed crust. Weigh down with dry beans or pie weights. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and lift off the parchment paper.Return and continue baking for an additional five minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool completely before fillingFor the custard filling:Heat a large saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the milk and scald. In a separate saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and salt. Gradually stir in the scalded milk.In a small bowl, place the egg yolks and whisk together. Temper the yolks by stirring in a small amount of the hot milk mixture while whisking. When thoroughly combined, slowly stream in the yolks into the hot milk mixture. Cook the milk mixture over medium heat, constantly stirring, until it has thickened.When it's thickened and bubbly, remove the saucepan from the heat and blend in the butter and vanilla. Allow to sit at room temperature to slightly cool to lukewarm.Assembling the pieWhen ready, grab the baked and cooled pie shell and layer the sliced bananas and custard. Alternate between the two, making layers, until all the custard and bananas are used; leaving the last layer custard.Cover the pie with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. Allow to chill for several hours, minimum 1 hour, but longer would be better.In the meantime, make the whipped cream topping. In a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, place the chilled heavy cream. Whip on low for a few seconds, and then raise to medium.When the cream has somewhat thickened, add the sugar and vanilla. Continue whipping until the cream has formed soft peaks. Be careful not to over whip it into butter.Scoop the mixture into a pastry bag and decoratively pipe out the cream onto the chilled pie. Or you can simply spoon the cream over the top.Sprinkle with sliced almonds if desired. Slice and serve. Refrigerate any leftover pie.Adapted from The Candid Appetite