Wednesday, January 19, 2011

20 Sweets in 20 Weeks - #7: Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie

I have been dreaming of eating banana cream pie for some time now. I think I have only had it once before and that was in 2006 when I visited Hawaii (which was great fun by the way). I really think that America seems to be the place to be when it comes to pies. Australia's pie selection just seems so boring in comparison - we seem to do apple pie and lemon meringue pie and not a hell of a lot more. 

Funnily enough I actually got this recipe from an Australian cookbook and it turned out pretty well. I like the banana cream filling and of course who can complain with loads of whipped cream on top. But I did have some issues with this pie. First of all working with gelatine for me was a nightmare! It made the cream filling go incredibly lumpy and I ended up having to heat the whole cream mixture using a double boiler to get it back to a smooth consistency. For a while there I thought I would have to throw out the whole thing, there may have been some foul language at that stage. The second issue I had was the pastry, I may have over worked it, but I found it incredibly hard - when what I was after was a nice flaky crust. Other than that the pie is good, maybe even better than good - lets just say there was very little conversation at the dinner table while it was being consumed. 

Banana Cream Pie

 Chocolate Banana Cream Pie (adapted from The Australian Women's Weekly - The Great Dessert Cookbook)

Pastry:
90g unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tbsp ground rice (rice flour)
1/4 tsp baking powder

Filling:
30g unsalted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2/3 cup water
1 1/4 cups milk
3 to 4 bananas (I used 3 smallish bananas)
1 tbsp gelatine
2 eggs
2/3 cup cream
dark chocolate (approximately 150g)
lemon juice
extra whipped cream (I added a little bit of caster sugar to mine)
shaved milk chocolate, to decorate

Pastry:
  1. Cream butter and sugar; add egg, beat well.
  2. Sift flour, ground rice and baking powder, work into creamed mixture, knead well until smooth.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll out pastry on floured surface to fit lightly greased 23cm pie plate. Decorate edges with trimmings, brush with water. Prick well with fork on base and round sides.
  5. Bake in hot oven (375F) for approximately 15 minutes or until lightly golden (took my oven 20 minutes); cool.
Filling:
  1. Combine butter, sugar and half the water in a saucepan; cook, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly, stir in milk.
  2. Soften gelatine in remaining water, dissolve over hot water; cool. Blend into milk mixture. (This is where my mixture went lumpy and gross - if this happens to you, pop the mixture into a double boiler and stir/whisk until the lumps disappear).
  3. Separate eggs, add lightly beaten egg-yolks to milk mixture; allow to cool.
  4. When beginning to stiffen slightly, fold in lightly whipped cream and softly beaten egg-whites. 
  5. Optionally at this stage melt the dark chocolate and spread over the base of the pie case. (Looking back I would probably put a layer of ganache on the base instead of just straight chocolate).
  6. Slice bananas, dip into lemon juice; reserve some slices for decoration (I didn't reserve any). Arrange remainder on base of cooked pie case.
  7. Pour cream mixture over carefully; refrigerate until set.
  8. Just before serving, decorate with extra whipped cream and reserved banana slices (I decorated with shaved chocolate instead).
And now for some pictures of the process. The uncooked pastry case...
Pastry Uncooked - Banana Cream Pie

Pastry case cooked and fresh out of the oven...
Baked Pastry - Banana Cream Pie
Cover the pastry in melted chocolate...

Cover in Chocolate - Banana Cream Pie

Top with slices of banana...

Cover with Bananas - Banana Cream Pie

Pour over the cream mixture and refrigerate to set...

Add Cream Filling - Banana Cream Pie

Top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate, cut a slice and enjoy...
Banana Cream Pie

9 comments:

Lulu froufrou said...

wow that looks amazing - well done!

m.e (Cathie) said...

that does look good though despite the foul language.

we don't do many pies & I always seem to think of America as the land of the pie, pumpkin & apple especially.

Christy said...

In great need of a pie now.

I've tried pies mainly because of my love of american tv. I want pie the way they want pie. But my pie doesn't work as well.

I made a pear "tart" with the choc base similar to that, and I agree, its just not quite right. A softer "nutellaery" type choc might work better, or more culinary.. a ganache!

Connie said...

That looks so great, I'm going to try that next time we are celebrating someones birthday... well maybe not my husbands birthday, since I might be giving birth... but I will try it!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Oh this looks gorgeous, Alicia! I'd love to have a slice right now. Sorry you struggled a bit with the recipe, but all's well that ends well, right? 8) While Americans are definitely great fans of pie, I have to tell ya that it's not easy to find a storebought one worth its price most of the time. If you want a seriously good pie here, you still have to learn to turn one out yourself more often than not.

ArtMind said...

Nomnom! Wish I lived closer so I could pop around for a piece... Thanks for the recipe! :)

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

This looks incredible and perfectly presented. I've heard gelatine is difficult to work with! But you'd never guess you had trobule from the images

Rose said...

mmm looks great! Makes me feel like making banoffee pie again.

Leesa said...

Looks great!! You don't see many pie recipes like this. Thats for the recipe!!