Wednesday, November 14, 2012

CLASSIC BANANA CREAM PIE

Every family holiday dinner, I make way too many desserts. There is usually a cheesecake, a cream/pudding type pie, a fruit pie, cookies and something "experimental". That just means it is a recipe that I really want to make but I know picky-picky husband wouldn't touch it, so I need my family to "step in" and try it. 

As fun as it is to try new recipes, the old classics are always a hit; this banana cream pie is a tried and true family classic; it is the "real deal". It has a baked graham cracker crust, cooked vanilla custard, bananas and the most delicious whipped cream topping I've ever tasted (it has cream cheese in it)

GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
1½ cups finely crushed graham crackers
¼ cup white sugar
6 tablespoons melted butter
Mix everything well and pat into a 10" pie plate. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.

PIE FILLING
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 and 1/3 cups water
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk (see note)
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 medium ripe bananas (cubed)

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the cornstarch in the water; stir in the sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. Cook until thickened and bubbly remove from heat; add butter and vanilla. Set aside to cool slightly. Cube the bananas and fold into the slightly cooled pudding. Pour into cooled crust and lay some plastic wrap on the surface of the filling so that it doesn't form a skin. Chill in the fridge for about 3 hours. Frost with whipped cream topping.

WHIPPED CREAM (Stabelized)
I hope you do not skip this step because it really is delicious and "makes" the pie. This is my new "go to" whipped cream recipe.

(1) 8 ounce cream cheese (room temperature)
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream

With your electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar and extracts in a large bowl until smooth (scrape sides to make sure you don't have any cream cheese sticking to the interior of the bowl). While the beaters are still running, slowly add the whipping cream (stop a couple times and scrape the bowl). Beat until you get stiff peaks. This makes enough topping to cover a 10" pie generously.

NOTE: Make sure you use sweetened condensed milk in the pie filling (and not evaporated milk).

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