Procrastination and Banana Cream Pie

The first thing I do whenever I learn that I have guests coming over is check the ice cube trays for dog hair.  When we renovated a little cottage in SE Portland ten years ago, I always stated that a painting project wasn’t done until a dog hair landed in it.  And apparently, the same goes for pie dough.  Because as I was rolling out my piecrust yesterday morning, I pulled out two dog hairs.  One was two inches long with a curve (Maya's) and the other hair was shorter and finer (The Assistant's).  Today, as I was scrolling through my pictures I found that there was The Assistant’s hair sitting on the edge of the pie dough.  Do you see it there, towards the left of the dough?  I wonder how many dog hairs I ingest in a week? I must live in a billowing cloud of black dog hair, so I sanitize my kitchen counters everyday and hope for the best.

I made a banana cream pie yesterday for dinner with My Kid, that I’ve been procrastinating on for at least ten years.  He used to tell me over and over how it was his favorite.  And I would read a few recipes and buy a few ingredients and then get conveniently busy.  But, yesterday with Maida Heatter’s piecrust recipe and Martha Stewart’s banana cream pie recipe, I dove in with confidence backed up by two strong cups of coffee.  I was thrilled with my baked piecrust.  This was my third attempt this week with the crust and I feel like I’m starting to get the feel for it.  So I propped up my cooling piecrust in my south facing kitchen window and took pictures of it.  Isn’t it pretty?

My pudding came together under ten minutes and then I folded the chopped up banana into it.  It tasted just like it should.  Then I posed it for some more pictures in my kitchen window, pulled out another dog hair that landed on it, and pushed a piece of plastic wrap on it and tucked it into the fridge. 

 After dinner, I whipped the cream, spooned it on top, and took a few more pictures before I shared it with My Kid.  I told him how I had meant to make this pie for the past ten years, since it was his favorite. Only to have him inform me that no, banana cream pie is not his favorite; my Bavarian Banana Cake is his favorite dessert.   Ok, good to know. I’ll send him a copy of my recipe.  But in the meantime, I’ll enjoy another bite of my banana cream pie!  

Banana Cream Pie 
from Martha Stewart's New Pies & Tarts

Baked pie crust
1/2 cup granulated sugar--I used vanilla sugar.
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups milk
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 ripe bananas, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
chocolate curls, for garnish (optional)

Whisk the egg yolks together in a medium bowl.  Prep bananas.  

Whisk together the granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan.  Add the milk and whisk together over medium-high heat.  Don't step away from the pan.  Keep stirring until it thickens.  It takes a little less than 10 minutes.

Slowly pour the thickened milk into the egg yolks while stirring.  Then pour it all back into the pan and cook over medium, whisking carefully, until it begins to boil.  Remove from heat and stir in the butter until it melts.

Pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl.  Fold in bananas.  Pour it into your crust.  Put plastic wrap on the surface and put it into the fridge.  You can refrigerate it for up to a day.  The flavor deepens over time.

Right before you serve the pie, whip the cream.  Chill your bowl and beaters.  And then whip the cream and add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla.  Taste and adjust flavoring to your preferences. Pipe  the whipped cream onto the pie or spoon it on top.  Garnish.  Serve.

The Assistant adores baked goods, even pie crust!