#20 : Banana Pudding Pie
Jeff absolutely loves a banana with peanut butter, which I call "the Elvis." But he is not a fan of anything else banana-flavored. I'd say that's nuts except for the fact that I love almost everything tomato (tomatoes raw or roasted, tomato-mozzarella sandwiches, tomato sauce, even gazpacho) but I absolutely loathe tomato juice. Who can say why...maybe we're both nuts. Anyway, Jeff came across a Cook's Country recipe for banana pudding pie and decided I should make it. It sounded interesting and different so I decided to try...though I made a few tweaks along the way. The recipe calls for a Nilla Wafer crust and a meringue topping, as seen below.
You can see their photo looks quite different from mine. I'm not crazy about Nilla Wafers (to me they have a fake chemical flavor) and, while I'm not averse to a crust made from graham crackers (or chocolate cookies) I opted for my usual pie crust. In addition, I don't really care for meringue and substituted whipped cream, making this a banana cream pie rather than a banana meringue pie.
As you can see, my bananas were extra ripe and ready to be used.
The recipe was very easy; just boil the pudding in a saucepan and add a "slurry" (gelatin softened in milk) and then add the bananas, and pour the mixture into a baked pie shell. The pie then needs to chill for a minimum of four hours. Here it is in the fridge (on the shelf under the delectable cheeses Jeff ordered from Murray's Cheese shop in NYC) with parchment covering it up, to prevent a "skin" from forming on the top of the pudding.
When the pie had been properly chilled, it was time to make the cream topping. We found a terrific recipe from America's Test Kitchen that involves whipping the cream with sugar and vanilla in a food processor rather than a mixer. This process adds less air, making a whipped cream that holds its shape without "weeping" for as long as two weeks. I'll have to take their word for that, as I know the pie won't last that long!
It was a complicated dessert night as Jeff wasn't interested in the banana pie, and wanted some more strawberry shortcake instead.
It probably goes without saying that Jeff then asked how the pie was, I said terrific, and so he had to have a taste.