Old School Pie; Banana Custard

Early spring brings a dearth of fresh fruit.  I find the apples to be less than optimal for pies after about February.  I was looking for something fresh and fruity.  No frozen fruit either; pricy to fill a whole pie and I really try to find things that are seasonal.  I had a pie to bake for Joe, he loves a pie so what should I chose? My sister said why not the venerable banana cream pie. Bananas are here and fresh so yes!

My mom used to make this pie when I was in my early adulthood; for some reason she never made it for us as kids.  I used to cut up and set the banana rounds in the baked pie shell for her.  The contrast of the rich custard, the flaky crust and the fluffy cream with the delicate banana flavor is just so memorable.  And if you can bake an empty pie crust and make custard this pie is really simple.  If you want, buy a crust in a package to bake; that will simplify things even more.  I assume you can use a box pudding but I highly recommend this custard, straight out of Betty Crocker’s 1978 cookbook.

Angie’s Mom’s Banana Cream Pie

Crust:

1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)

2 tbsp sweet rice flour

1 Tbps. granulated sugar

½ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

6 Tbsp. cold butter cut into 6 chunks

1 large egg

2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice

Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray, dust with white rice flour.

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer.  Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembles coarse meal.  Add egg and juice.  Mix until it comes together into big chunks.  Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup corn starch

½ tsp sea salt

3 cups whole milk or 2 percent, no lower fat than that

4 egg yolks beaten lightly

3 tbsp. butter cut into small cubes.

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 large bananas

Topping: 1 cup whipping cream, ¼ cup powdered sugar and ½ tsp. vanilla

Directions: Mix the dry ingredients in a 1 ½ qt sauce pan, Add the milk and stir as it heats.  Once it reaches a boil time it for one minute.  Then add 1/3 of it to the egg yolks, stir and return all to the pan, bring back to boil and time for one minute stirring constantly.  Add the butter and stir as it melts, then the vanilla, stir.  Pour into a mixing bowl, let cool a bit and then put a film of plastic wrap on the top; press it down onto the custard.  Chill at least an hour before using.

Roll out pie crust in a pie bag or between the two sheets of wax paper, try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered.  Remove other slice of wax paper.  Crimp edges all around.  Prick with a fork evenly every inch so it won’t bubble as it bakes.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 12-18 minutes until the crust is light brown.  Cool at least 15 minutes

Cut peeled bananas into 1/2 inch rounds and cover the bottom of the pie crust with them close together.  Pour the custard over the sliced fruit and smooth the top.

Chill pie 1- 4 hours before slicing and serving cold topped with a big dollop of real freshly whipped cream.

Whipped cream: Beat 1 cup cold whipping cream with an electric mixer until it holds soft peaks; add a quarter cup powdered sugar and ½ tsp. vanilla.  Do not beat any more, just stir in.

I think it is best served the same day you make it, or no more then 12 hours after baking for optimal flavor.  The crust will get soggy if too much time passes. Mine was still very good the next day; just not as great as when really fresh.

Originally posted on my blog in April 2016.  Making one later this holiday week!

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