Wednesday, May 17, 2006

banana birthday pie

It's K.'s birthday today, and because she is truly the girl for me, she has requested a birthday pie instead of the usual cake. First choice was key lime, but alas, my previous source of key limes, the overpriced Garden of Eden grocery store on Montague St, has feijodas and papayas and six kinds of grapes but no key limes. Instead, I'll be whipping up her second choice, banana cream. My old pal the Red Meat Ranger was also a serious banana cream pie fancier, so I have a well-stained Joy of Cooking (1953 edition) to work with. It's so easy it barely needs a recipe--just a stovetop custard of egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, milk, and vanilla. The only trick is judging when it's cooked enough not to be soup, but not so much that it's started to curdle. Longer than you think you can stand, but don't wander off, not for a minute, is the way I've found. Will post the recipe--and pictures!--once I've made it. And to all the other Taureans and almost Geminis out there, happy birthday!

OK, post-birthday post-mortem. The pie, well, the pie tasted great. But for some reason--i.e., it didn't occur to me to grease the pie pan--the graham cracker crust cemented itself to the pan. And then the custard, which seemed nice and thick when I first made it, transformed itself into runny soup during its stint in the fridge. So I dolloped the thing with fresh whipped cream, sprinkled it with chocolate powder, and then had to serve it with a ladle and a chisel. Oh, well. it did taste good, especially the next morning when we had the leftovers for breakfast. But I'm not posting the recipe til I get the kinks out.


K. said...

Oh, but it pleased me anyway. It was a lovely birthday dinner, and a delightful dessert, however unruly on the spatula. Thank you for a wonderful birthday, my sweet PQ.

sue said...

A friend who was a professional pastry chef once told me about custard for banana cream pie: "Honey, put plenty of cornstarch in it! You want a sturdy custard that won't run." So I do, and it doesn't! not grainy or anything either.