Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Two Favorites In One Pie!

I don’t think a really good pie can be made without a dozen or so children peeking over your shoulder as you stoop to look in at it every little while.” — John Gould
Pie is one of those things that almost requires a family to enjoy it.  For me, the word pie conjures up images of family and memories of my childhood and family get-together.  When I think of pie, I think of my mom’s amazing flaky pie crusts.

fudge and banana custard pie

I decided to combine the two thoughts and made a banana cream pie with a twist.
I made an almond crust, then added a thin layer of dark chocolate (if that doesn’t scream love, I don’t know what does!), a single layer of fresh sliced bananas, and then a sweetened condensed milk custard.  I decorated the pie with simple whipped cream rosettes and dark chocolate shavings.  This is a nearly no-bake pie.  The only time you have to turn on the oven is to bake the crust for 12 to 14 minutes.  The almond, chocolate, banana, and custard flavors were fabulous together.  The banana wasn’t overwhelming, allowing the flavors from the almond crust, chocolate layer, and custard to come through.  I also thought that the bit of crunch that the almond crust added was a nice addition to the pie—better than the traditional banana cream pie which tends not to have as much variation in texture.
Fudge and Banana Custard Pie
For the almond crust:
2/3 c. flour
½ c. sugar
½ c. ground almonds
6 tbsp. butter, softened
1/3 c. powdered milk
For the sweetened condensed milk custard:
1 2/3 c. water
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
3 large egg yolks, beaten
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
For the chocolate layer:
2/3 c. (4 ½ oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp. butter
1 ½ medium bananas, sliced (you can use more bananas if you like a stronger banana flavor)
Whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings, to garnish
Make the almond crust: Preheat oven to 350.
In a small mixer bowl, beat flour, sugar, almonds, butter and powdered milk until a soft crumbly dough forms. Press the dough into 9 inch pie pan.  Bake 12-14 minutes until puffed. Cool completely.
Make the sweetened condensed milk custard: Put the water into a heavy saucepan.  Add the cornstarch and stir until it has completely dissolved.  Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks.  Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens and is bubbly.  Remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla extract.  Stir until everything is mixed together and set aside to cool slightly.
Make the chocolate layer: In a small saucepan, heat the chocolate chips and butter together over low heat until melted, stirring constantly until the chocolate is shiny and smooth (it will be thick.)
Assemble the pie: Spread the hot chocolate layer over the bottom of the cooled almond crust.  Arrange the banana slices on top of the chocolate.  Pour the custard over the bananas.  Cover the pie and chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours or until set.  Decorate the pie with whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings.  Refrigerate the leftovers.

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