BANANA CREAM PIE
(Makes: One 9-inch pie)
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1/2 recipe pâte brisée
(which is a classic melt-in-your-mouth pie crust)
(the pâte brisée recipe follows below)
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners sugar, sifted
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour,
and roll out pâte brisée to a 1/8-inch thickness.
Fit into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.
Trim pastry using scissors or a sharp paring knife.
Crimp or decorate edges of pastry if desired. Chill for 30 minutes.
2. Carefully line pastry with parchment paper, pressing it into corners and edges,
and weight with beans, rice, or aluminum or ceramic weights.
Bake until pastry begins to color around edges, about 15 minutes.
Remove paper and weights, and continue to bake just until
pastry dries out and turns golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes more.
3. Cool completely on a wire rack.
The baked shell can be stored in airtight containers or
well wrapped in plastic in the freezer for up to 1 month.
4. Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside.
To Make The Custard:
In a medium bowl,
whisk together egg yolks,
granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
In a medium saucepan, bring milk just to a boil.
Remove from heat, and whisk about 1/2 cup of hot milk into yolk mixture.
Whisk yolk mixture into saucepan of hot milk.
Place over medium-high heat, and bring to a gentle boil, whisking constantly.
Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute.
Remove from heat, and whisk in butter, one piece at a time, until melted.
Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, and whisk until smooth.
Immediately strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl.
Place bowl of custard in ice bath to cool, stirring occasionally.
5. Peel bananas, and slice 1/4 inch thick.
Add lemon juice, and toss gently to coat.
Arrange in an even layer in bottom of baked piecrust.
Scrape cooled custard over bananas, and smooth top with a spatula.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
6. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment,
beat cream on medium-low speed for 30 seconds.
Increase speed to medium-high, and add confectioners sugar
and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
Beat until soft peaks form.
Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip (Ateco #32).
Pipe cream over custard in large rosettes, covering it completely.
Temperature is key to a tender, flaky pâte brisée.
Making a pâte brisée, that classic melt-in-your-mouth pie crust,
is a matter of temperature and technique.
The name comes from the French words for
"dough " and "broken," because butter,
shortening, or lard is cut or "broken up"
into the dry ingredients .
The secret is to work quickly and
to keep ingredients and utensils cold.
Handle the dough as little as possible
to prevent an abundance of gluten,
which forms as the dough is worked.
Gluten holds the dough together,
but a little goes a long way --
too much, and the pie crust toughens.
Fats also prevent the formation of gluten,
which is why it's important to work butter
into the flour mixture until evenly distributed.
Use a food processor, two knives, or a pastry blender
until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Then add ice-cold water to bring it together into a ball.
With cold butter, the crust will be especially flaky;
as the cool fat warms in the oven, steam escapes,
causing the dough to expand and form
tiny air pockets that create layers.
Then cut butter into quarter-to-half-inch pieces --
don't make them too large or they will leave holes in the crust.
Keeping utensils, bowls, and other ingredients
(even the flour) cold is also important for a flaky crust.
If the dough begins to stick to the
work surface when you're rolling it out,
place it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
How To Make A Pâte Brisée
Makes two 9-inch single-crust pies or one 9-inch double-crust pie.
(This dough can be refrigerated up to one week or
frozen up to one month, wrapped well in plastic.
If using frozen dough, let it thaw overnight in the
refrigerator before rolling out into a crust.)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter,
cut into small pieces 1/4 cup ice water
1. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor,
and pulse a few times to combine.
Add the butter, and blend until the
mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds.
With the machine running, add ice water
a little at a time through the feed tube,
mixing just until the dough holds together,
no longer than 30 seconds.
2. Turn out dough onto a clean work surface.
Divide the dough in half, and
place each ball on a sheet of plastic wrap.
Flatten to form two disks.
Wrap well, and refrigerate at least one hour.
3. Continue by following the recipe for your pie or tart.
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