Strawberry & Banana Cream Pie

I love summer! Everything about summer is wonderful. But one of my favorite things is the food. I don't know what it is exactly, but I love this time of year.
My hubby's parents just bought a brand new BBQ. Really really nice. It's stainless steel, has a smoker and a rotisserie. So last week, I think we barbequed every night. On Sunday we barbequed and celebrated the 4th of July, I decided to bring a dessert. I found this recipe on Comfort of Cooking. Right away I knew it was going to be good, so I printed it out and made plans to make it for the 4th.

Everything in this recipe is made from scratch. The crust, the custard, and the whipped cream. The crust was really yummy. It reminded me of those 'Sandies' cookies.

If you want to take a shortcut for this recipe you could use Vanilla or Banana Pudding and cool-whip. I would make the crust though.
I've never made a pie crust, so when I made this I wasn't sure it was going to work. It wasn't sticking together while I was mixing it. I was thinking to myself 'Did I leave something out?' But I trusted the recipe and just went with it. And of course it worked perfectly.
I also wanted to say, I tried this the day after and 2 days after I made it, and it tasted alot better. It gave it time for all of the flavors to combine. When I first tried it, there wasn't a really strong banana flavor, but after a day or 2 there was definitely a banana taste. Next time I make this I will probably try using just a boxed pudding. I will let you know how it turns out.
Until then, you should try this delicious dessert. It's perfect for a get together with your friends or for any summer meal.

Strawberry & Banana Cream Pie

for the pie crust
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg yolk

for the filling
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ripe bananas, sliced
10 fresh strawberries, sliced
for the topping
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the pie crust...
Mix the flour, powdered sugar and salt in a large bowl, until combined. Scatter the pieces of cold butter over the dry ingredients and cut in with a pastry blender or two butter knives. There will be pieces of butter that are the size of oatmeal flakes and butter the size of peas. Beat the egg yolk with a fork and add a little of the egg yolk at a time to the flour mixture. Mix for a ten seconds at a time. When the egg is in, mix until the dough forms clumps and curds. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that may have escaped mixing.

Butter a 9-inch pie or tart pan. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and the sides of the pan. Press the crust so that the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter the shiny side of a piece of foil and fit the foil, butter side down, tightly against the frozen crust. Bake the crust for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust is puffed, gently press it down with your fingers. Bake the uncovered crust for 8 to 10 more minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool completely before filling.

To make the filling...
Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan.
In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the brown sugar, cornstarch and salt until well blended and thick. Whisking without stopping, drizzle about 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking so the eggs don't cook and curdle. Still whisking, slowly add the rest of the hot milk in a steady stream.
Place the pan over medium heat and, whisking constantly (make sure to get the edges of the pan), bring the mixture to a boil. Boil, still whisking for one minute before removing from the pan from the heat. Mixture will be thick and silky. (Be warned, once the mixture starts to boil, it will thicken very quickly. Don't be afraid to remove the pan from the flame to whisk it smooth.)
Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let stand for 5 minutes then whisk in the butter, stirring until fully incorporated and the custard is smooth and silky. Transfer custard to a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap so that the plastic touches the surface of the custard and refrigerate until cold throughout. Custard can be refrigerated up to three days.
When ready to assemble the pie, slice bananas and strawberries into thin, round slices.
Whisk the cold custard to loosen. Add a handful of banana slices. Stir.

Arrange a thin layer of banana slices on the bottom of the tart shell. Arrange a thin layer of strawberries atop the bananas. Reserve some strawberries for topping the pie. Top with banana custard. Refrigerate while you make the whipped cream.

to make the whipped topping...
With a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat heavy cream until it just starts to thicken. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Continue to beat until the cream holds stiff peaks. With a rubber spatula, spoon whipped cream onto banana cream pie filling. Top with sliced strawberries.

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