Thoughts on Banana Cream Pie

20130302-132454.jpg

My husband convinced me to practice restraint and not cut the pie last night, so I just cut a slice to try it out.

Sadly, I think that the color just freaks me out too much to be able to love the pie. Pies are already at a disadvantage with me because when given the choice I will choose a chewy cookie or a fluffy cake any day over a slice of pie. This didn’t really apply to Crack Pie because it was so freaking tasty, but with banana cream I’m just like…meh.

Another issue I had was that although the cream filling set really nicely and seemed to be the right texture, the crust was hard for me to get out. I like a good cohesive crust and this just isn’t happening here. My cutting skillz could be suspect, so I will see how the slices my honey cuts look.

I love banana and I love pudding-y, creamy fillings so I am not disappointed here, but I may try the banana cream out in the other Milk Bar recipe it’s featured in: banana cream cake. (yes, Oprah’s favorite cake)

The funny thing is, the yellow color just made me want to make a fresh batch of corn cookies (the first recipe I tried and one of my favorites so far) instead of trying a new recipe.

Aside from just wanting to make more cookies, I’m not sure what new adventure awaits me in the Momofuku Milk Bar cook book. When I feel like I’ve sufficiently conquered it I will either go on to the Bouchon cook book or try out something from a Martha Stewart book my sister in law recently gifted me.

I do have to say, I do feel bread whispering in my ear so that just may be the next big project. My sweetie and I have been talking for months about making bread baking our ‘couple’s bonding time’–he bought me some bread cook books and a baguette pan for my birthday and I think it’s just about time. I sampled some yummy Easy Tiger sourdough at Whole Foods the other day and it definitely planted a seed.

What’s going on in your kitchen this weekend?

Mustard Pie

20130301-215629.jpg

This evening after dinner I started on my banana cream pie.
Since I was using frozen bananas instead of fresh, I was a little nervous at how things would turn out.

20130301-215607.jpg

I put the bananas in the blender and added heavy cream and half & half instead of heavy cream and milk because I was out of milk. Next in was cornstarch, salt, sugar and egg yolks. After it was blended it went into a medium saucepan to be whisked and thickened. In the cook book it said that the mixture will “resemble thick glue, bordering on cement, with a color to match” and she was totally right. At that point I thought maybe the darkness of the defrosted bananas wouldn’t matter.

20130301-220004.jpg

A bit of bloomed gelatin and butter went into the blender with the bananas for round two of mixing. After it was all ready it was time to add yellow food coloring. This is one of the issues I have with the book: I am a bit of an ingredient snob because of my holistic background and some of the stuff she uses (food dye, crap cereals…) gives me a bit of anxiety. But I gamely tossed in more and more yellow until I had squeezed most of the bottle in there. Ew.

20130301-220248.jpg

It was looking a bit like baby poop yellow curry but I didn’t worry since I knew I’d later be mixing it with heavy cream and powdered sugar and it would probably lighten up. I threw it in the deep freeze to rapidly chill and got to work on the crust.

20130301-220428.jpg

20130301-220511.jpg

20130301-220532.jpg

The first time I made one of the Milk Bar pies (Crack Pie) I felt like I didn’t add enough butter, like maybe the oat crust was too dry when I tried to press it into the pie plate. So this time I added more butter until it formed a really cohesive ball. This may not have really been necessary since the Crack Pie crust was later baked and it was perfect. But this crust was definitely prettier although maybe I should have baked it a bit. Instead I just followed the recipe. (except I did add some graham crumbs because I was worried I didn’t have quite enough chocolate crumbs to make a good crust)

20130301-220735.jpg

By the time the crust was done the banana mixture was chilled through and ready to be whisked into heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar to finish the filling.

20130301-221244.jpg

Even after the banana was mixed with the whipped cream it still had a crazy color. If we like the pie, next time I’ll make it with fresh bananas and see what that color looks like. Or maybe I’ll just leave the food coloring out. I’m ok with a grayish-colored pie! 😉 It has been chilling in the fridge for a bit so I may go scoop some out and see how it tastes. I think the mustard-y color actually looked kind of cool with the deep brown crust. Very 70’s.

20130301-221813.jpg

I did read a blog where the person who attempted the pie said that the pie filling remained loose, kind of pudding-ish so she didn’t cut cohesive slices but just kind of scooped it out. I was planning on leaving it overnight in the fridge to set with the hopes that I’d get pretty pieces but if that isn’t going to happen I’d like to sample my creation tonight. There were no pictures of the pie after it had been cut in the cook book so I’m not quite sure what to expect.

Next Up:

20130301-141822.jpg

I think the Milk Bar Banana Cream Pie needs to happen at some point today. I freeze super ripe bananas (much to my husband’s chagrin) and I think today is the day they will become a yummy pie. I had chocolate crumb leftover from the chocolate-chocolate cookies so that can be used for the crust.

20130301-142721.jpg

Ooh! When I was looking for a chocolate crumb photo I stumbled upon a tumblr page where someone basically did a Julie/Julia with the Milk Bar cook book. Can’t wait to read it, I just skimmed a bit.