Tuesday, April 7, 2009

TWD: Banana Cream Pie




Is it possible for a pie to hold a grudge? A banana cream pie to be exact? That's how I felt as I made this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe.

Now, I'll confess upfront. Pie and I don't have a love affair going on. It's not my favorite dessert. I much prefer cake. And cookies. And ice cream. But there are some pies that I like. I love french apple, and I make a great cranberry/apple every Thanksgiving that is my all-time favorite. It has a cornmeal crust that compliments the filling to perfection. And yet, I've been having such a good time making recipes that I wouldn't normally make, that I went into this week's selection with much enthusiasm and hope. The pie was not fooled.

My first inclination that trouble was brewing was with the crust. I did not take Dorie's advice and chill the rolled out dough before attempting to place it in the pie plate. My bad. I was in a hurry and wanted to get the pie done. I had rolled it out between parchment paper and the dough got too soft making it almost impossible to remove the parchment paper. There were rips and tears (both of the holey and weepy variety). So I decided to do some patchwork, figuring it would still taste the same.

So I baked my crust and look at what happened. I guess my patchwork didn't hold. sigh



Still, I was not deterred. It was going to be okay. It would still taste good even if it wasn't the prettiest pie ever made. Don't get worked up Annette. Calm down. It's going to be delicious.

I had chilled the custard while the crust was baking. When the time came to assemble the pie, I vigorously whisked the custard as Dorie told me too. I have to say, I was surprised at how gelatinous and gloppy it was. I was expecting it to be much more creamy, almost pudding-like. Maybe I wasn't vigorous enough? Maybe I should have whisked it in the stand mixer. Did anyone else have this problem? It almost wasn't spreadable.

See what I mean?


While spreading the custard, gently I might add, the crust came right up!


At this point, I almost threw in the towel and gave up. I had been beaten down in the kitchen. By a pie. It's not often that my confidence is shaken in the kitchen. Seriously. But I didn't give up. I had invited my parents over (they love pie), they were on their way and I didn't want to disappoint. And it would still taste good, even if it turned out to be a spoonful of pie instead of a nice pretty slice. So I finished it up the best that I could. Thankfully, the whipped cream topping was easy and didn't give me any trouble.

The end result? My parents really liked it. They loved the crust! We thought the custard could be a little sweeter, and I think creamier. Maybe I over cooked it? It wasn't half bad for pie. I only had a few bites and I sent it home with mom and dad where it would be much more appreciated (I was still bitter).



I have Amy of Sing for Your Supper to thank for choosing this week's recipe. Thank you Amy! You've provided me a challenge. I will master the pie.

I'm off to see how the other bakers fared this week and see if I can gather any tips for improving my crust and custard. Suggestions are welcome! If you want to put your own pie making skills to the test, you can find the recipe in Dorie's delicious book and over on Amy's blog.

Happy baking!

22 comments:

farah said...

I'm sorry it wasn't straightforward this week. The same thing happened to my pie filling so i added a little milk and it loosened up a little. I'm glad you and your family enjoyed it :)

Heather said...

Great post. My hubby agrees that the custard could be a little sweeter. Good for you for not giving up!

Teanna said...

I am so glad you ended up loving this recipe after all of that tough work!

Kim said...

I had a love hate relationship with this pie as well. It seemed that everything that could go wrong did but it was mostly my lack of attention span. Despite all the problems your pie looks lovely. And I love the pie dish.

TeaLady said...

Glad you stuck with it. In the end it turned out looking good. Crust is NOT easy. It has taken me years to 'perfect' it (and I say that with much laughing). Chilling the dough and making sure your butter/lard/water is really COLD is important. Keep at it. Your pie looks yummy!!!

Pamela said...

I'm so glad you didn't let the pie win! It looks pretty good and I'm glad your parents enjoyed it.

Kara said...

Annette - my filling definitely thickened up a lot. I wound up whipping it with about 1/2 a cup of whole milk to thin it out a little. It was still nicely creamy after, but not the big gloppy mess that it was right out of the fridge.

somethingsweetbykaren said...

annette, we were on the same wavelength this week! this pie had it out for me!!! we loved it though and ate the whole thing in one day. :)

Erin said...

Well I certainly couldn't tell from the first picture that you had trouble with this pie! The finished product looks great! I didn't love it either, but I'm glad I gave it a shot.

margot said...

Sorry to hear you had crust problems; it still looks great and I'm glad your parents liked it. I agree that the custard was totally gloppy; it took a lot of extra milk and whisking to get mine spreadable.

Tracey said...

I had some serious issues with my crust too so I feel your pain. Mine shrunk in the oven and had a few holes but luckily the bananas and cream covered it up :) I'm glad you enjoyed it after the effort.

Megan said...

Ha ha ha ha! I wasn't aware that a pie could hold a grudge but you learn something new every day, right?

BTW - the custard was very stiff and gelatinous (I love that word)for me as well.

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Pie is so fiddly. I'm still getting the hang of it all. After all the work, it's good you liked it.

n.o.e said...

Sorry you had pie wars in your kitchen this week. Good thing the pie went to a home where it was not likely to pick a fight. I'm glad it was appreciated, and adding sweetness should be fairly easy (and might make the pie less bitter, ha ha)

Really enjoyed your post, and that cornmeal crust you make sounds seriously intriguing.
Nancy

Katrina said...

Well, if all we saw were your pictures, (okay, not the one where the crust came up), but if we just saw your two other pictures, we never know what you went through. It looks good. Sorry pie isn't your favorite. Here comes lots of chocolate!

Michele said...

I'm sorry this pie caused you so much trouble. I always find pies and pie crusts trickt too. Your pie still looks delicious!

Sweet as Coco said...

Well, you can't tell any of your hardships by the end result. My pie crust did the same thing....it had a lot of little holes in it. I personally attribute my trouble from not adding enough water to the pie crust.

But I agree...pie and I arent in a love affair either...I would rather have cake or cookies as well!

SUGAR B said...

What a trooper you are! You hung in there and it paid off in the end!

You are an inspiration! :)

Jacque said...

Ah man, I'm sorry you had problems... that's always so disappointing and I understand about not wanting the end result around.

I'm glad it ended up tasting OK.

I think with Dorie's pastry cream you have to take it right off the heat when it gets thick, despite what the instructions say. I just made some of her regular pasty cream tonight and it got thick in the blink of an eye, just like this one did.

Rachel said...

I much prefer cake too but still enjoyed this pie. Yours looks great!

April said...

I had the same issue with the custard and I ended up sticking in the microwave on defrost for a minute, made it much easier to spread. It still looks just like it's supposed to and I'm sure it tasted great too!

Sabrina said...

That looks wonderful!!! Nice job!