Banana Cream Pie

Adapted by StarChefs.com
September 2006
Yield: 1 9-inch Pie

INGREDIENTS:

Pastry Cream
12 ounces cream
12 ounces milk
4 ounces sugar
1 vanilla bean
Pinch salt
2 eggs
3 yolks
4 ounces sugar
1½ ounces corn starch
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whipped Cream
2 cups whipping cream
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Vanilla Wafers
4 ounces butter
8 ounces sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces flour
¾ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Pie Shells
8 ounces vanilla wafer crumbs
2 ounces walnuts
Pinch of salt
2 ounces melted butter
Pie Filling
5 firm, ripe bananas (cut in half lengthwise, then sliced ½-inch thick)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
6 ounces pastry cream (recipe above)
1 banana liquor

METHOD:

For the Pastry Cream:
Bring the cream, milk, half of the sugar, vanilla bean (scraped) and salt up to a boil in a medium pan. Place yolks, eggs, other half of the sugar, and cornstarch in a medium bowl and whisk together until smooth. Temper the egg by adding a bit of the hot liquid to the egg mixture and whisking. Repeat until egg mixture is hot, then add it to the hot milk. Place the pot onto medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil for two minutes, still whisking, then remove from heat and place into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Add butter and vanilla extract and place mixer on slow speed until pastry cream is room temperature (about 20 minutes). Place in a bowl and put plastic directly on top to avoid a skin forming. Refrigerate until using.

For the Whipped Cream:
Whip all ingredients until medium peaks form.

For the Vanilla Wafers:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a mixer bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and inside of the vanilla bean together. Once light and fluffy add the egg and the vanilla extract. Let beat for another minute. Sieve all the dry ingredients together and add to the butter mixture. Mix only until dry ingredients are incorporated. Roll out to ¼-inch thickness between two pieces of parchment paper, remove the top piece of paper, and bake until light golden. Once cool take baked cookie sheet and grind in a food processor until cookie resembles fine crumbs.

For the Pie Shell:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, grind the crumbs, walnuts, and salt together until there no large pieces remain (about 2 minutes). Place in a bowl and bind with melted butter (jest enough so that when you squeeze some of the mixture into a ball, it holds its shape). Pat the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan, around the sides first and then the bottom. Press firmly into the pan. Place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes then bake for about 5 minutes, until slightly golden. Let cool.

To Assemble:
Chop bananas and toss in lemon juice. Measure out 6 ounces of pastry cream and mix in the banana liquor. Add the bananas to pastry cream and fold gently. Turn out into a pie shell, top with the whipped cream and sprinkle with toasted walnuts.

Wine Pairing:
Côteaux Du Layon Cuvée Prestige, Domaine Ogereau, Loire Valley, 2003