I was almost a little sad to go on vacation, but as I was looking out the window watching snow fall I became less sad. The husband and I haven’t learned to appreciate the art of the stay-cation, so I’m cooking my heart out while I can because I have a kitchen sink with a disposal and a dishwasher too! No more cleaning black beans out of the sink while I brush my teeth.
I am instead learning about convection baking and experimenting with the Pie setting on the oven. Yes and there is a Pizza setting too. Aren’t we fancy? Say yes.
I made ricotta gnudi from my Gourmet Today cookbook which is one of my favorites, I ended up making a quick marinara from the next recipe for fresh manicotti. The galette I made by making a simple all butter pie crust, doing about 2/3 wheat flour and no sugar, I did a little egg wash and coarse sugar around the edge. Filling is just 5 cups blackberries, 3/4 cup sugar, couple teaspoons vanilla, a bit of cinnamon (no I didn’t measure). It’s simple, rustic, the wheat flour gives it a little hearty nuttiness that balances the tart and sweet of the blackberries. I suggest homemade vanilla ice cream as a serving suggestion.
There has also been: cinnamon rolls, chocolate cupcakes, ribs, collard green rolls (plan on recipe post for that), sourdough bread, banana barley muffins, kale chips, goat cheese souffle to name a few.
Future plans: carrot cake, coconut cake, waffles, oven fries, raspberry pie. I should make some vegetables too…
I don’t really like banana cream pie, well I didn’t before. But when you are pregnant sometimes the urge strikes. Doesn’t hurt that it happens to be Pi(e) day, a very special one on 3.14.15! When I think of banana cream pie I think of the cafeteria at the hospital, with its rotating dessert case. Gritty chocolate puddings with cool whip and sprinkles. They had been sitting long enough that the sprinkles were starting to dissolve and dye the cool whip in bright neon splotches. Then the banana cream pie rotated slowly, beige, soggy and sad.
But now for some reason, I think of it as comfort food. If you have read my previous post then you will know why I might need some comfort food. Like if you broke up with your boyfriend and you were upset and went to see your favorite aunt, she would give you a slice of this. No, she didn’t bring it home from the hospital, she made it. Made it with love for someone who needs comforting.
The recipe uses a crust made from honey graham crackers, the ones I used were Annie’s bunny grahams, because that’s what I could find at the store. It’s what makes shopping at your small local grocery store fun. I also liked the less grahamy flavor. I crushed the
crackers bunnies using a plastic baggie and a glass. This makes a coarser and more irregular crumb and is more work, but meh. Sometimes I am willing to go through tedious extra work if it involves using less brain power to find a quicker way. This recipe makes a lot of crust, so the extra crumbs I toasted on a baking sheet on the side and added on top for a little crunch.
The filling is a vanilla custard with vanilla bean and extract, and just a touch of brandy. I used store bought salted caramel sauce because I am still mad at caramel for being so easy in the beginning and then turning on me. I also don’t want to wash crystallized caramel out of my pan in the bathroom.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious
Banana Cream Pie with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream
- 2 1/2 cups honey graham crumbs
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 4 ripe bananas peeled and sliced into 1/4" rounds
- 2-3 tablespoons salted caramel sauce
- 1 1/2 cups cold whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 350 fahrenheit.
- Combine crumbs, cinnamon, sugar and butter in a bowl and mix until resembling coarse sand.
- Put in a 9" pie plate and press around bottom and sides evenly. If you have extra crumbs put them on a cookie sheet.
- Bake crust and crumbs in oven about 10 minutes. Let cool.
- Whisk together sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. Gradually whisk in cream, milk and egg yolks.
- Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and add to custard along with vanilla bean.
- Heat on medium high heat, while stirring until thickened, about 6-8 minutes.
- Remove from heat, stir in butter, vanilla and brandy.
- Let cool until warm to room temperature, stirring occasionally, remove vanilla bean.
- Add about a cup of custard to cooled crust, layer half the bananas, then another layer of custard and remaining bananas. Add last of custard over top.
- Let set in the fridge for 6-8 hours.
- Before serving prepare whipped cream by chilling cream, bowl and whisk or beaters.
- Place caramel in bowl and pour cream over top.
- Stir initially to mix togeter then beat on high until soft peaks but do not overbeat.
- Spread over pie, use extra caramel to drizzle over top. Spread crust crumbs on top and serve.
This pie will keep in the fridge for a day or two covered in plastic wrap.