You may know I come from a family of five. We are now all married and spread across the United States. In birth order from oldest to youngest, it goes: Mark, me, Denise, Dan and Brian. The five of us (and our spouses) all get along splendidly and have just a small bit of sibling rivalry between us. We see each other once or twice a year, except for Dan and Brian who both live in Denver.
In fact, the pie project will go on the road soon. I will be visiting my parents and all of my siblings at their various homes this summer to sight-see, relax and maybe make a pie or two together.
I couldn’t come up with an old photo of the five of us this time, but I found this one of Dan (aka. Danny) and me instead. It was taken in Spring of 1992, just months after I graduated from college. Danny (age 14) and me (age 22)
Brother Dan’s birthday is on May 22nd, the week before Memorial Day. Besides enjoying Boise’s great outdoors, one of the main things we wanted to do together during his visit here was to put a dent into the pie project. Thus, the excuse to pick out a post birthday pie formulated. His choice was Banana Cream. Bananas are always in season so I could have made this pie anytime. But way back in January when I started the project and he reserved this weekend to bring the family to Boise, he laid his claim to this pie.
So Dan, I hope it was everything you wanted it to be. Happy Birthday. I love you!
Here are the recipes we followed.
JAN MOM’S PIE PASTRY
- 1 cup flour + 2 tablespoons
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup Crisco vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons cold water
Mix flour, salt and oil with a fork. Add water and form into a ball. Roll between two pieces of wax paper. Peel top layer of wax paper off and flip other layer of wax paper and rolled dough onto a 9″ pie pan. Form decorative crust. (Poke holes around rim of crust if single). Bake for 12-14 minutes at 400° or until golden brown if recipe asks for a “baked pastry shell”. Cool on a wire rack.
I tried a new technique here to keep my pie pastry from bubbling in the center.
BANANA CREAM PIE FILLING (this comes out of my red and white checked Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book, ©1989)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
- 3 cups of milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon of butter
For filling, in a medium sauce pan, combine sugar and flour. Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium high heat until mixture is thick and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Separate egg yolks from whites; set whites aside for meringue (see recipe below). Beat egg yolks slightly with a fork. Gradually stir about a cup of hot filling into the yolks. Return all to saucepan; bring to a gentle boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla. Spread 3 medium bananas, sliced (about 2 1/4 cups), into the bottom of the baked pastry shell (see recipe above). Pour the hot filling into pastry shell on top of the layer of bananas. Make meringue (see below). Evenly spread the meringue over the hot filling; seal to edge. Bake in a 350° oven for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill to store. Makes 8 servings.
MERINGUE FOR PIE (this also comes out of my red and white checked Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book, ©1989)
- 4 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup sugar
Bring egg whites to room temperature. In a mixing bowl combine egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until soft peaks form. Gradually add in sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating at high-speed about 5 minutes till stiff, glossy peaks form. Immediately spread meringue over pie, carefully sealing to edge of pastry to prevent shrinkage. Bake as directed in pie recipe above.
Happy Birthday to you, you live in a zoo. You look like a monkey…….
- If you hadn’t noticed, this pie recipe is very similar to Pie #1- Coconut Cream Pie. The only change is the substitution of bananas for flaked coconut. If you can make this one, you can make the other and vice versa.
- The bean tricked worked. I baked the pie for 12 minutes on 400° with the foil and beans in it. Then, removed both, poked a few holes in the bottom of the crust and baked it at the same temperature for another 10 minutes. When the timer rang, the crust came out slightly brown with no bubbles. Perfecto!
- My most important words of advice, definitely make sure you seal the edges of the meringue to the fluted crust before baking or else the meringue will pull away and leave gaps when the pie cools. If you don’t believe me, check out the photos of Pie #5- Lemon Meringue. Sealing the edges makes for a prettier pie.
- It was great to have Dan’s assistance in the kitchen since this is a multi-step pie. If you can find a helper, the process goes more quickly and is a lot more fun.
- Make sure you plan to eat this pie soon after you make it. Turns out, leftover banana cream pie is still fabulously tasty, but the bananas do get brown overnight. 🙂
- Once again, my Mom’s pie crust rocked. This pie was delicious! I loved the texture of the bananas in the creamy filling. I rate it a 9.