Any day my dad makes pie at home is a day to celebrate — not because there is something going on, but simply because my dad is channeling his inner housewife and baking a dessert worth skipping dinner to enjoy. Whenever he does bake, my dad tends to lean toward the classic all-American apple pie.
As much as I love to spend time in the kitchen and become covered in flour, I prefer to leave the pie-making to my dad. Although I have experimented with many different and difficult recipes, such as beefBourguignon and handmade gnocchi, something about making pie scares me. More specifically, making pie crusts scares me. Considering that the cookbooks I rely on for my baking recipes include Mastering the Art of French Cooking and The Joy of Cooking, I consider it to be sacrilegious for me to use a premade crust when following a recipe from one of the greats like Julia Child.
Unlike cooking, baking is all about precision. Ingredients must be carefully measured to ensure accurate recipes. Temperature is also critical for the ingredients; for example, adding eggs to a bowl of still-warm melted chocolate could produce scrambled eggs. Even the state of matter of the ingredients is important — whenever butter is included in a recipe, it is often identified as a chilled or room-temperature solid or, alternatively, melted into a liquid. All of these things matter when making a pie crust.
For me, my fear of making pie comes from the fear of screwing up the crust. Making pie dough from scratch typically requires combining the dry ingredients with very cold butter and then pulsing them together with ice water until the dough comes together. While it doesn’t appear that difficult on paper, I have mentally psyched myself out about it, even though pie is one of my favorite desserts. One of the beautiful things about pie is that no matter what time of year it is, there is an ingredient suitable for a delicious dessert. During the winter months, the produce selection is somewhat limited, but with so many bananas available at Leo’s, this pie is perfect. Even though I am still afraid of pie crusts, the decadence of this creamy concoction makes me forget that I cheated with the crust, at least for a few bites.
Bethany Imondi is a junior in the College. She can be reached at [email protected]. MARKET TO TABLE appears every other Friday in the guide.
Banana Pudding Pie:
1 (nine-inch) pie crust, baked
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 bananas, sliced
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a saucepan on medium heat, combine the sugar, flour and salt. Slowly add milk. Stir constantly until the mixture is bubbly. Continue stirring and cook for about two more minutes and then remove from burner.
3. Stir a small quantity of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, then add egg yolk mixture to the rest of the hot mixture.
4. Return to heat and cook for 2 more minutes; remember to keep stirringhing has a smooth butter and vanilla. Remove the mixture from the stove; add butter and vanilla. Stir until the whole thing has a smooth consistency.
5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Chill for at least one hour before serving.