Friday, December 6, 2013

Banana Cream Pie for Thanksgiving? Yep, that's right!

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Ours was wonderful and busy. My husband's folks came to NYC from Nashville and we ran all over the city checking out the holiday windows and taking care of various to-do's like building the baby's crib (pictured below!). We also still managed to make and consume a gigantic feast. Priorities, y'all!

The one menu item I wanted to share with you is for the only thing that I completely followed someone else's recipe for. That's a rarity for me but this custard is totes off-the-hook! Also, I recognize that banana cream pie is a pretty unorthodox Thanksgiving item but my husband requested it and I love banana cream pie so I thought, what the heck.

About 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about a pack and a half of crackers)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the crust:
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Pulse the graham crackers into a fine crumb in your food processor (or break them up in a bag using a rolling pin or something similar). Pulse in the salt. On low speed, add in the butter until the crust starts to pull away from the sides. Press the crust into a 9 or 10 inch glass pie dish. Bake for 15 minutes until fragrant and golden. Allow the crust to cool while you make your custard.

Custard: I followed this recipe from the Memphis restaurant McEwen's on Monroe as posted on Epicurious. This is an outstanding custard recipe. It's crazy easy and insanely good. 
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-5 ripe bananas, peeled, cut on the bias

To make the custard:
Whisk the sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the whipping cream and whole milk gradually, then add the egg yolks. Split a vanilla bean and scrape in the seeds then toss in the vanilla bean husk. Whisk the custard over low-medium heat until it thickens (and I mean thickens) and just comes to a boil, about 6-8 minutes. Pull it off the heat as soon as it comes together. This will happen all at once, so do not leave the pot once you get started. 

Whisk in the unsalted butter and vanilla extract. Find and discard the vanilla bean husk. Transfer the custard to a large bowl set in an ice bath to cool. Cover completely with plastic wrap so a skin does not form. Stir occasionally so the custard cools consistently throughout.

To construct your pie: This is how I wanted my bananas to look but I was too rushed for time.
Spread 1/2 of the custard over your pre-baked crust. Top with sliced bananas, then spread the rest of the custard over that. Cover the custard with bananas sliced on the bias and chill. Ideally you should chill the pie for about 8 hours but I chilled mine for only two and it was still awesome though it was definitely even better the next day.  

Oh and here's the crib!