Banana Cream Pie or Banana Cream Tart

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banana cream pie

It’s so much fun to make something for the first time. I warn you. This is not really a Spinach Tiger kind of pie. It’s very rich, and quite a splurge and much more a Retro Rose dessert. Retro Rose is my mom who goes all out for comfort food, sparing no calories, baking from scratch.

But it’s all part of my taking on the challenge of baking with an on-line group baking from Dorie’s Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.

How much did we like the recipe? The brown sugar and the nutmeg brought it home. I don’t know the last time I had a banana cream pie, and I’m not sure why, but I’m glad I took the time to make this.

I used the pie crust recipe in the book, making only one change. Instead of mostly butter with some vegetable shortening, I used all butter. I don’t make pie crust every day, and I took my time, cutting in the butter by hand, not using a food processor. There is a therapeutic benefit working with dough, and it helps to understand the pastry. The one-crust recipe gave me enough for a pie and two tarts. I was so happy with the way the pastry turned out for the tarts and I can’t wait to use it again for something savory. I blind-baked the crust using her suggestion of buttering the shiny side of foil and placing that on the crust and filling with rice. The crust was flaky, buttery and dangerously delicious.

I wish I could say I didn’t struggle making the custard, but I did. It became thick custard much quicker than I anticipated and when I made my second batch I used a smaller sauce pan ala double boiler. I’m still not sure I was able to get the texture just perfect, but the flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar surrounding fresh banana were as pleasing as any banana cream pie could be.

What did I learn?
Brown sugar has too often been overlooked in my kitchen. I never would have thought to use this in a custard and now I don’t know if I would want to use anything else. I also learned that as much as I like vanilla flavored, creamy food, I don’t like whipped cream in any measure greater than a tablespoon. In truth, I would rather put a dollop of yogurt over my pie.

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