Last week was my husband's birthday so we celebrated in typical fashion- lots of family, food, and babies running around. For the party, I made one batch of Dorie's brioche into two pans of Pecan Honey Sticky Buns. I'm glad I made two plates because everyone ate one as an appetizer while we waited for the grill to heat up. Thankfully there was another batch to turn into the cake later on!
Then, for his work party, I made Dorie's Banana Cream Pie and a Florida (Key Lime) Pie. I was watching my niece (of Blueberry Pie fame) when I made those so I don't have process pictures, but let me assure you they were delicious. The Florida pie is refreshing and tangy. I love putting whipped cream on top for the perfect compliment to the citrus. As for the banana cream pie, Dorie based the recipe off of her original pastry cream with a few things added. Since I'm all for pastry cream, I loved this pie. It was creamy, flavorful, and a cinch to put together. I loved the sour cream in the topping, too. It was subtle and perfect.
I do have one complaint about all three of these recipes. They don't come with someone to wash the dishes. I have a feeling, though, that with the promise of one of these for dessert, nearly anyone would commit to washing a few dishes for you.
Banana Cream Pie
from Baking by Dorie Greenspan
For the Custard:
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cups (packed) light brown sugar, pressed through a sieve
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (a little more)
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (a little less)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
3 ripe but firm bananas
1 9-inch single crust made with Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough, fully baked and cooled (or my no fail pie crust)
Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan.
Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar and cornstarch until thick and well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk-- this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won't curdle. Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the milk. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (making sure to get the edges of the pot), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.
Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are full incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky. You can either press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold or, if you want to cool it quickly--as I always do--put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water, and stir the pastry cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes. (If it's more convenient, you can refrigerate the custard, tightly covered, for up to 3 days).
When you are ready to assemble the pie, peel the bananas and cut them on a shallow diagonal into 1/4 inch slices.
Whisk the cold custard vigorously to loosen it, and spread about one quarter of it over the bottom of the pie crust- it will be a thin layer. Top with half of the banana slices. Repeat, adding a thin layer of pastry cream and the remaining bananas, then smooth the rest of the pastry cream over the last layer of bananas.
To make the topping:
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream until it just starts to thicken. Beat in the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until the cream holds firm peaks. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently fold in the sour cream.
Spoon the whipped cream over the filling and spread it evenly to the edges of the custard. Serve, or refrigerate until needed.