Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pie 01 - Banana Cream Pie

I would like to say I am a decisive person, but that would be a lie. I didn't make the pie crust Monday night like I had planned. I didn't even make all the crust in one batch like I said I was going to. Instead, Tuesday I changed the plan and decided to make the assigned, different pie crusts for all 25 pies. I was reminded that my goal is to become good at making pies. By making each crust I will have the opportunity to tweak my technique and hopefully learn how the ingredients affect the overall result.

Tuesday night I chose to make the Banana Cream pie recipe from the Martha Stuart website because my Dad is home sick this week and he loves anything banana.

First I made the Pate Brisee (the one identified specifically for this recipe), which is french for "broken pastry." I assumed it was just a regular pie crust, but some sources say it is more on the crumbly/buttery side of crusts. Anyway, the raw dough is delish. I tasted a bit.

In hindsight I would have done a few things differently. I added water a little too quickly when mixing in the food processor. The directions said to add water just until the dough holds together when pinched. The dough for this pie came out in one big ball. I also would have adjusted the bake time a bit. Against my better judgement I watched as the pie made it to a light, golden brown, and then somewhat past that to a darker golden brown. Overall the crust was a success.

Dairy products on the stove always make me very nervous. I've burned the bottom of so many creamy and cheesy sauces; I was on high alert when making this custard. To make it worse, there were so many steps to complete while the custard was on the stove. I had beaten eggs ready to go next to me so I could pour 1/4 of the hot custard mixture into the eggs, whisk it, add the rest of the custard, get a clean saucepan, and strain the mixture into the new pan. I took some liberties here because that sounded like way too much. The custard was smooth enough I skipped the strainer, and I didn't bother to get a fresh pan. Everything went fine. Above, you'll see the custard sitting on ice to cool down.

Last I made whipped cream for the top out of powdered sugar and heavy cream. I believe this pie was a success. The only thing I changed about the recipe was I did not put sliced bananas on the top of the pie for fear they would get brown and be very ugly.

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