Thursday, August 22, 2013

Diner Style Pie At Home

We've been so busy eating, entertaining, cooking, laughing and being bested at bouts of Uno by a 7 year old I haven't had a minute to post. We pretty much had vacation easy, kid-friendly dishes like a not too spicy low country boil, chili and grilled cheeses, our house specialty sliders and last night -- thanksgiving in August -- a roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings.  When James and I decided to go out for the holidays, the turkey took up residence in my very small freezer and I have been waiting for a crowd to clear out that space. Instead of going full fall style I made left turn at dessert. I spied the bananas getting a tinge brown on the counter and realized there was another dessert our young cook guest Isabel and I could make together (we'd already sliced and baked freezer cookies, stirred up almondy financiers, and whipped cream for chocolate pudding) -- banana cream pie.
To make this pie a little easier on little fingers I decided on a graham cracker crust. Isabel crushed 2 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs and mixed in 1/4 cup mashed banana, 4 TB melted butter and 1/4 cup sugar. She formed the mixture into a deep dish pie plate and we baked the crust for 15 minutes at 350ยบ.
Our custard was a simple mixture of sugar (1/2 cup), cornstarch (1/3 cup), milk 1 1/2 cup), cream (1 1/2 cup) and a pinch of salt brought just to a boil, with Isabel whisking all the way.  I tempered 3 egg yolks and added them back into the custard mixture which we cooked over very low heat until thickened. Off heat we added in 2 TB of butter and a splash of vanilla extract and let the custard cool.
Isabel and I like surprises. As a special treat we painted a little melted chocolate onto the inside of our cooled graham cracker crust and then layered on sliced bananas and half of the custard mixture. We followed with more sliced bananas and the rest of the custard. We topped our pie with fluffy whipped cream (stablized with just a touch of dissolved gelatin) and waited for dinner time to come.

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