Sunday, November 20, 2016

Banana Cream Pie

I don't often share the adventures of cooking on here, but cooking is an art too, so why not? Foody photos are fun all the same.

This evening's activity, making a banana cream pie. I've been in a pie making mood, practically wanting to make and eat every pie listed in the Betty Crocker cook book. 
My sudden burst of energy for baking started on the 17'th. We had some leftover pumpkin pie filling after canning most of it, so I was asked to make a pie crust. 
My pie craving didn't end there of course, and after finish off the pumpkin pie within several days, I still wanted banana cream pie, so that was this evenings activity. 

It was a group effort between myself and my sister. 

I joked and we laughed as we cooked. We looked up a pudding recipe for the filling, I got to work on first making strudel for the inside, then made the crust and learned a few things about flash baking with ceramic weights, all the while keeping an eye on the simmering pudding that needed to be stirred constantly while my sister set the mixer on and made meringue.
Cutting up banana, ladling in the pudding, adding the strudel, and watching my sister plop shiny meringue on top was a delight. After a good hour of assembling and baking, the pie had to sit in the oven and cool for several hours after that before it was taken to chill for the night in the garage fridge.
I learned a few things during the pie making process. My sister took a skinny spoon and wedged it all around the meringue to make it spiky, a way of having golden spots with cream colored crevices. She says it kind of looks like the cap of an acorn....which is funny to have on top of a banana pie. 
During the crust baking process, I discovered the weights are for preventing the crust from puffing while it cooks. Problem is we don't have enough ceramic beads for it to work as well as it needs to. Also, the crust shrank and sank slightly from the lip, a sign that the dough was a bit too wet. This resulted in a more shallow shell that couldn't quite hold all the pudding, which means we had a little snack after filling the pie to the brim as best we could.
The evening after.....

The banana cream pie didn't quite turn out the way I was expecting. A number of things could have been the cause of runny filling which was thick when I first added it before overnight cooling.

Could be excess moister in the bananas caused the pudding to thin, or perhaps the strudel topping of butter and brown sugar had something to do with it. That added ingredient wasn't part of the recipe, but I wanted a cookie flavor and didn't have vanilla cookie wafers, so I did that instead.

Either way, whatever happened will hopefully not happen the next time round. We may try the baked custard method instead of the pudding method next time, which can hopefully give us a nice firm filling. Regardless, the pie still tasted good, and we each had double shares, finishing it off in a single night.
Only reason we finished it that quickly is because banana cream pie goes bad quickly, and the filling was so soupy that there was a risk of the pie collapsing away to nothing if it sat longer.

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