I'm pretty sure that I have mentioned here before that I am pie dough challenged. I have been told that it takes a lot of practice. I remember watching my Mom make pie dough when I was a kid. Her's were always wonderful, and perfect... she must have had a lot of practice :)
I have tried many recipes, even my Mom's, to no avail. In the past I have "cheated" and used the pre-made crust that you get in the refrigerator section at the grocery store. Even my Mom has been using the "cheating" crust for years now. She decided that it is just as good as her's, so why go to the extra work? But I am determined to make a tender, flaky crust from scratch. I will master this... if it's the last thing I do ;)
I have tried Barefoot Contessa's pie crust recipe before, but for some reason... this time it worked! Maybe it was practice. I should have known that I could count on Ina.
This Banana Cream Pie is from Paula Deen's cookbook, The Lady & Son's Savannah Country Cookbook. It's actually the first Paula Deen recipe that I have tried, and let's just say I could have eaten the whole thing...but I didn't. It is a little lighter in texture than the Banana Cream Pies that I have tried in the past, although I'm sure not lighter in calories.
Ina's Perfect Pie Crust
This recipe makes 2 crusts, you can freeze and save the other for another time, or even better, make two pies!
12 Tbs. very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 Tablespoons ice water
Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan and unfold to fit the pan. Prick bottom and side thoroughly with fork. Wrap remaining dough tightly and freeze for another use. Bake in a 475 degree preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
Banana Cream Pie
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 egg whites
2 bananas, sliced
one 9-inch prebaked pie shell
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/3 cup sugar with the corn starch and salt. Blend in milk, then egg yolks. Cook and stir until mixture thickens. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Cool to room temperature. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into egg yolk mixture. In pie shell, alternate layers of banana slices and cream filling. Cover and chill. Top with whipped cream and additional sliced bananas, if desired.