After a whole month of a pie a day, wow, that’s a lot of pie. I am doing 2 last posts. One post will be my favorite pie and the other will be what I learned about pie making to share with you. A couple of weeks ago, I had a pie delivered to me. A chocolate banana cream pie covered in delicious home-made whipped cream. This pie was amazing. I found I could eat it for 3 meals a day if I let myself. I did share a piece with a neighbor but I learned something so valuable not just about banana chocolate cream pie but something much more. I have heard several times in life we “break bread together” and yes, a hot loaf of bread out of the oven is divine and smothered with honey, jam, or butter…yum! Pie, I have decided when shared is true friendship, caring, and love.
I have been reflecting on gratitude especially this past week with Thanksgiving and I am so thankful and grateful for prayers that are answered through the actions of others. When that pie arrived at my door, I was ever so grateful for that act of kindness. I later shared a piece of pie with a neighbor, something she needed at the time. Yes, our prayers are answered through others’ actions that I call daily angels. I have heard it said that pies are just for the holidays. Absolutely not. Pies are for any day of the year. Thank goodness for so many kinds of pies, pie crusts, and flavors of pies. If you aren’t an experienced pie baker, thank goodness for ready-made to roll out pie crusts, crumb crusts and easy fun fillings. The joy is in the giving. Okay, I love to eat pie but what a joy to see the smile on someone’s face when there is a pie at their door. I made one pie this month and I didn’t like the way the crust turned out. The filling was an amazing custard. I called up a neighbor and said I have a pie that I can’t use for pictures but tastes delicious. Would you like it? She said absolutely. She mentioned to me that every time she would walk by the pie, she would take a small bite. Then she would need to even the edge on the pie. Before she knew it, the pie was gone. She said, “I really liked that pie.” Little did I know that she had had a small surgery that week and that bit of friendship and love hit the spot.
I want to share the recipe for the chocolate banana cream pie and challenge you to make a pie, any pie, and give it away. Really ponder who may need that pie and I am sure you will find the answer. Not only will your pie skills improve, but you will brighten the lives of others. Isn’t that what life is all about?
I have also learned a few tricks of the trade that Dawn and I would like to share with you.
- Have a variety of pie pans for different types of pies; glass, stainless steel, ceramic, 9-inch, deep dish, perforated, etc.
- Try different types of crusts. I did try a few gluten free crusts and the best is with a 1 to 1 flour.
- I did try whole grains with pat-in crusts. These crusts were thick, hard, and would not be something I would recommend.
- In some pies, the sugar can be substituted with coconut sugar
- Dicers, slicers, and choppers make the pie preparation go much quicker
- Blind bake all pies. Pies that will not have a baked filling cook for 12-13 minutes or until golden brown and cool before filling. Pies that will be cooked in the oven, blind bake shell for 10 minutes then cool slightly before filling and returning to the oven.
- Crust shields are a must to have on hand.
- Always put the pie crust on a cookie sheet when baking – easier to move and a great way not to ruin the crust.
- Pies slice best when cooled for 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
I want to echo all of Allison’s tips and add a few of my own.
- Pie pans with a lip around the edge are my favorite because they allow for a decorative edge.
- After a crust has been blind baked, brush lightly beaten egg whites all over the bottom and up the sides. The heat from the crust will cook it. This seals any docking holes that might be too large and helps create a barrier between the crust and the filling, keeping the crust crisp.
- Bake your pies on the bottom rack. This ensures the crust is baked through and the crust edge doesn’t over-brown.
I would like to share with you the banana chocolate cream pie that is delicious and has become a tie as our family favorite.
Chocolate Banana Cream Pie
- 1 cup flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup butter (the colder the better)
- 3-4 tablespoons ice water
Mix first 3 ingredients until crumbly.
Add water and mix. Roll out to 9 inches to fit in pie shell. Bake at 450 degrees F for 9-12 minutes (any blind baking method). Cool completely.
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares
- 3 cups milk
- 3 egg yolks (slightly broken)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 bananas, sliced thin
- Whipped cream
- Chocolate Curls (optional)
- Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Add milk. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Boil 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and blend a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks.
- Return to saucepan, blending well. Cook until boiling, stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat. Add butter and vanilla.
- Layer bananas on crust then pour chocolate mixture over bananas. Refrigerate 3 hours or until set.
- Top the pie with fresh whipped cream and chocolate curls before serving.
Recipe courtesy of JoAnn Schanzle