Monday, April 1, 2013

blind baking a pie crust, banana pudding pie, & post easter celebrations

I have been on a baking & blogging hiatus so I thought I'd pack today's post with more than one recipe. Please forgive me, but I've had other things on my "plate" lately. We're not baking a black-eyed pea pie here but blind baking a pie crust. So here it goes.....

PIE CRUST for one single 9-inch pie crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 stick unsalted butter - cold & cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup ice cold water

Drop a couple of ice cubes into your water and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Add the cold 1/2 inch cubes of butter and cut the butter in with a pastry cutter until the butter pieces resemble small peas. Work fast so that the butter stays cold. Remove the ice cubes from your water and drizzle about half of your water over the flour mixture. With a spatula, work the water around so that the flour mixture gets absorbed. Add the rest of the water and gently work it in. Do not mix. Gently fold.

Dump the mixture out onto a clean surface and gently pinch together the "wet" clumps of dough and set them aside. Sprinkle in a little more water (1/2 - 1 teaspoons) onto the dry bits and gather together. Gently gather the dough together, form it into a ball, press it down slightly into a disk, wrap in plastic and set in the refrigerator for 1 hour (2 hours ideally).

Once the dough has rested and chilled, roll it out onto a lightly floured surface, less than 1/4 inch thick but more than 1/8 in thick. Your crust should be at least 1 inch larger than the pie pan.

Fold the dough into quarters and place the folded point into the middle of the pie pan and gently unfold. Excess dough should be draping over the sides. Fold the excess dough under itself. At this point you could leave it as is, fork the edges down, or with your fingers create a wavy edge.

Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork and place your crust into your frig while you preheat your oven to 425°F. Your crust must be completely cold and firm to prevent the sides from shrinking during baking.

Line your cold crust with parchment paper and pour in some pie weights or dried beans. Make sure your parchment paper reaches well above your crust so that it makes it easy to remove later. Press the parchment and beans so that they reach the sides and corners of the crusts. ***Once you've used your dry beans for blind baking they cannot be used for anything else.***

Bake your crust @ 425°F for 20 minutes. Remove your crust from the oven and gently lift out your beans. Lower your oven temperature to 375°F and bake your crust for another 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Set your baked pie crust onto a rack and let it cool completely.

Banana Pudding Pie
adapted from a few recipes....

BANANA PIE PUDDING makes enough for 1 9-inch pie
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
2 cups milk  ***Whole would be best but I used 2% and it was just fine***
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter - cold and cut into cubes
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large bananas - sliced or cut into cubes
1 - 2 tablespoons banana liquor/schnapps (optional) 

1 baked & cooled 9-inch pie crust

In a heavy bottom saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch and salt. In a medium bowl whisk your milk and egg yolks. Add to your sugar mixture and mix thoroughly. Cook over medium heat until it thickens and boils, about 5 minutes, while stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook pudding for 1 minute, still stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and whisk in cold butter cubes and vanilla extract and banana liquor/schnapps if using. Transfer pudding to a shallow bowl and immediately cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Cool for about 30 minutes.

I chose to cut my bananas into 1/2-inch cubes....

I mixed my cubed bananas with 2/3 of the pudding and poured the mixture into my baked and cooled pie crust.

Spread out the chunky banana pudding and pour the remaining third of pudding over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in your frig for at least 2 - 4 hours before serving.

This pie was consumed so fast that I barely got a pic of it!!! If you celebrated Easter, I hope it was a happy one!!!

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