Monday, January 12, 2009

Banana Cream pie

Bananas layered with brown sugar pastry cream, topped with whipped cream, in a pastry crust.

So I had some leftover pie dough that I needed to use before I went back to school. Nothing seemed to be presenting itself as a filling, until I spotted some ripening bananas in the fruit basket. And so, we're doing the comedy staple: banana cream pie.

Start off with egg yolks.

Which are mixed together with brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and hot milk.

You cook it over the stove, whisking constantly, until it bubbles and thickens into a custard. It'll look something like this:

The custard needs to chill, so let the bowl rest inside a bigger bowl of ice and cold water, and whisk it occasionally to keep it from developing a skin. (Alternatively, you could put the custard in the fridge, but make sure to place some plastic wrap directly on the custard to prevent a skin from forming.)

A banana cream pie filling is not baked (it's a cold pie), so you need to blind bake the crust before. A good time to do this is while your custard is chilling.

So fit the pie dough over your pie plate. Butter a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap it, butter side down, over the pie dough.

Pour some sort of weights into the pie dish to keep the crust from puffing up. You can buy weights for this, but dry beans or uncooked rice work just fine. There is no shortage of uncooked rice in a Chinese household.

So bake that and let it cool.

Then, the fun part! Spread some pastry cream over the bottom of the pie crust. Layer on slices of banana.

Keep going, alternating pastry cream and banana layers until you get to the top.

Then, whip up some heavy cream and a little bit of sugar and vanilla to make whipped cream. Spread it all over like you would icing on a cake.

You can eat it straight-away or let it chill out in the fridge for a bit.

The keep time is kinda iffy because the whipped cream starts to dry out and deflate after a while. But with a tasty pie like this, you shouldn't have to worry about that.

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