As far as my memory goes back in time, I can count the times I baked with someone on one hand. I don’t get too many opportunities to bake together with family or friends besides my son (who sometimes quits before the process is complete) or an occasional guest. Baking means a lot to me. (This is why I’m starting to think about teaching baking classes!) Having something home-baked is like going the extra mile when it comes to making a home. (I’m not saying it has to be made from scratch.) And baking with someone you like, or even LOVE, is the best combination of all things good. This week, I got to bake with Jessie.
I met Jessie, a.k.a the Cakespy a few times at Foodbuzz and Frantic Foodie events and every time I had a chance to talk with her, I liked her more. I can’t remember how we got to this idea of getting together to make a pumpkin pie, but we did. It was lots of fun and we made a one terrific pumpkin pie creation together! Look at these layers of beauty…
Don’t you feel like diving right into that pillowy layer of whipped cream flavored with brandy and making a snow angle? Or poking the pumpkin custard with your finger and licking it? Or, if showing better manners, getting a big tablespoon and digging right into the vanilla layer? Don’t you?!
Well, Jessie had a hard time waiting for the custards to set and photos being taken, and right after we took a few photos of the pie, she wanted to cut right into it and sample a slice.
While I was still trying to capture a good, better, best picture.
That’s me. Photo by Cakespy.
Thank you, Jessie!
I know some of you out there, including my dear friends and family, will never cook a custard from scratch. And yes, this pie does have a few steps involved in its creation. Each one really easy on its own, but I admit, it was much easier and faster to make this together than if I had to do it all by myself. All alone in the kitchen…
But no worries, you know me, I always have shortcuts and a few tricks up my sleeve to make your life easier, no? I’ve got 3 words for you: instant. vanilla. pudding. You can use it instead of making the custards. Mix half with the pumpkin ingredients, and half with whipped cream.
And go visit Jessie’s sweet blog, Cakespy, to see what she wrote about this fabulous pie.
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Pumpkin banana cream pie
We used an 11-inch tart pan but you can use a regular pie pan. In any case, you probably will have some extra custard which you can layer and serve in pretty little bowls, as you can see here Pumpkin banana creamy dreamy dessert.
For an 11-inch tart pan + extra custard to fill 3 bowls/martini glasses
For the dough:
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups self-rising flour
2 egg yolks
¾ cup banana chips, crushed to bits in food processor
For the vanilla pastry cream:
2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise or 1 teaspoon extract/paste
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
For the pumpkin custard layer:
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
A pinch ground nutmeg
3 extra-large egg yolks
1 package (2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 ripe banana, finely mashed
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
For whipped cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons brandy
1-2 bananas thinly sliced
For the dough:
Pulse butter, sugar, and flour in a food processor, or do it with hands, until you get big crumbs. Add the yolks, pulse until the crumbs are moist. Press into a generously greased 11-inch tart pan. Press the crushed banana chips into dough. Refrigerate covered for ½ hour.
Bake at 375 F for 20-25 minutes.
For the coconut pastry cream:
Warm the milk in a medium saucepan until it almost comes to a boil. Add the vanilla. (If using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the bean and add both the seeds and pod to the milk mixture. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and stir occasionally.)
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and flour until well combined. Temper the eggs (to keep them from scrambling) by pouring about 1/3 cup of the scalded milk into the egg mixture while whisking. Then add the warmed egg mixture to the saucepan of milk. Whisk over medium-high heat until the pastry cream thickens and begins to bubble. Keep whisking until the mixture is very thick, 4 to 5 minutes more.
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the butter and whisk until it melts. (Remove and discard the vanilla pod.) Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and place it over a bowl of ice water. Stir occasionally until it is cool. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a crust from forming and refrigerate until completely cold. The pastry cream will thicken as it cools.
For the pumpkin layer:
Heat the half-and-half, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, ginger, and nutmeg in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until hot, about 5 minutes. Whisk the egg yolks in another bowl, stir some of the hot pumpkin into the egg yolks to heat them, then pour the egg-pumpkin mixture back into the double boiler and stir well. Heat the mixture over the simmering water for another 4 to 5 minutes, until it begins to thicken, stirring constantly (so the eggs to scramble) until it reaches 160 F degrees. Remove from the heat.
Dissolve the gelatin in 1/4 cup orange juice (or water). Add the dissolved gelatin, banana, and orange zest to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Set aside to chill in the fridge or use the same ice bath as the vanilla cream.
For the whipped cream:
In an electric mixer with the whisk, whip the heavy cream with the sugar and brandy on medium-high speed until firm peaks form.
When the custards and dough are cooled, assemble the pie by layering the fresh bananas on top of the dough. Then spoon with vanilla cream on top, smoothing the surface. Next, add the pumpkin custard, and last spoon the whipped cream. Decorate with banana chips or fresh banana slices (add fresh banana only shortly before serving so they don’t brown). Let pie set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.
Really, it’s easy as pie. But much easier, and funner, when you make it together with a friend.
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