Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Before Sun-up

When I was growing up my mom would always make several pies for any gathering, whether Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, or summer reunion picnics. The types of pies might change based on the time of year and occasion, but one thing never changed, they were always made fresh that morning. Yes, I said, that morning. She always was an early riser so awaking at 3:30 - 4:00 to make pies never bothered her, that is the time of day she loves most of all and always says she is most productive then.

I might be like my mom in many ways, but enjoying early mornings has never been one of them. I much prefer sleeping in. But I do like pie, and the idea of fresh pie made that day for a special occasion has an appeal to me that has made me get up twice now to have my pies done on the day they'll be eaten. Because I'm still not a morning person, I've tricked myself by choosing meringue-topped pies to bake. They have to be eaten the day they're made, which means they have to be made that day. So maybe, just maybe I'll get used to the idea with them and venture into baking all my pies early in the morning.

First things first. One must be awake to bake and this always helps:
Now, let's get started on our Banana Cream Pie!

First you need to have a pre-baked pie crust. I did mine the night before. My mom always uses the recipe on the Crisco can. But several years ago when I was nursing one of the children I watched Martha Stewart. She did a step by step tutorial on pie-crust baking. Ever since watching that and printing out her recipe I've used it, loving it, it is a good thing!

When the edges don't turn out "perfect," I comfort myself that this is the way everyone knows it is homemade!

Okay now time to assemble the filling.

In a large, heavy saucepan mix together:
1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup corn starch. Then add: 3 cups milk and 4 egg yolks, and stir.

Cook till thick, stirring constantly! As the pudding thickens, turn down the heat to prevent sticking.

When thick, remove from the heat and add 2 tsp butter and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla.

Now slice bananas into the pie crust shell......

And into the pudding.

Now pour the pudding into the pie shell.....and add more sliced bananas on top!

Now it is time for the meringue! Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beat 4 egg whites until frothy.

(This isn't frothy - just the start of beating the whites - you knew that right?!)

Then add 1/2 tsp cream of tartar and beat till stiff. Add 1/2 cup sugar and beat until no longer grainy feeling, then add 1 tsp vanilla.

Put on top of your pie.

My mom told me to hold my spatula perpendicular to the meringue and "fluff" or "pull" upwards with short strokes all over to create the beautiful valleys and peaks. Oh and be sure to take your meringue all the way to the edges "sealing" it to the crust.

Bake it for 5 minutes at 425 or until it is browned as you desire.

And if you're already making it, why not bake two at the same time? Just double the above recipe and have double the fun! Like I did!

I started the pies at about 6:15 am on Sunday morning, I took them out of the oven around 7:15 and this was the sky then:

I then awoke the children, showered, and we got ready for Sunday School, Bible Class and church. The pies were taken over with us and enjoyed (I hope!) by those attending the Anniversary meal after the late service.

So go ahead try making my Great Aunt Aggie's Banana Cream Pie for your Thanksgiving Dinner. You can even have it done before the turkey has to go into the oven. Enjoy!

Great Aunt Aggie's Banana Cream Pie
Mix together in a heavy saucepan: 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup corn starch
Add 3 cups milk and 4 egg yolks, stir.
Cook till thick, stirring constantly. As pudding thickens, turn down the heat to prevent sticking. Remove from heat. Add 2 tsp butter and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla.

Slice bananas into baked pie shell and into pudding and add more on top.

Beat 4 egg whites till frothy. Add 1/2 tsp cream of tartar and beat till stiff. Add 1/2 cup sugar and beat till no longer grainy feeling. Then add 1 tsp vanilla.
Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes.


Ewe said...

Oh, Ram's favorite is banana cream! I made apple, pecan and pumpkin yesterday so no more for Thanksgiving, but maybe I'll make this one to eat with leftovers!

Cate said...

Darn right coffee is necessary before attempting all that. Yum!

Stewert's Pate Sucre crust is my go-to pic crust as well, though lately I've been experimenting with different fats. The butter crusts do have the best flavor, but lard makes for a really flaky crust.

I also just heard (and haven't tried) that instead of water at the end, try vodka. The alcohol will cook out, and with it, moisture, so hence a flakier crust.

I may go back to butter next time and try the vodka trick.

In any event, yummy looking pies!

Glenda said...

Cate, I've never heard about the vodka, although a shut-in told me to use cold, flat, sprite or 7-up. That makes it quite tasty! When I have a can, I'll be a pie crust factory, freezing what I can't use that day for future use.

I do have vodka, hmmm, might have to try that today for my apple pie.

Ewe - yummy! Thanksgiving here will be pumpkin cheesecake this year, apple pie, plus two leftover pies from Sunday's dinner we were given and I froze. Not sure what those are though.

Rhonda said...

Glenda, This is almost the same as the banana cream pie recipe I use. It's the pie that is gone first and after every one has their pick of the pies, if there is banana left people will have a second piece of it. We top the pie with whipped cream, though.

imamom said...

Thanks for the delicious recipe. I made it for my Maggie's 11th birthday, and it turned out wonderfully.

Glenda said...

You're welcome Lisa, I'm glad it turned out well for you and happy belated birthday to Maggie!