It’s Spring! I know because I’ve busted out my hippie print wrap skirt and I’ve got the last of the Cadbury Cream Eggs in my mouth at this very moment. Thank goodness I’ve reached the end of the Easter candy… my thighs are angry with me… or angry with my tight fitting jeans… I can’t tell.
The best part about this budding Spring, besides the end of Easter candy? I get to play with my food and play with my friends. More specifically… I get to play with first of the season strawberries and my two best friends Whitney and Rachel.
Apparently when my friends and I play with food… we do it for an audience. April 10th. Surfas. Los Angeles. Strawberry cooking demonstration. That’s today. That’s happening.
I know.. I know.. I’m always popping up in Los Angeles and Sonoma and never in your neck of the woods. I’m sorry. I should just take myself on tour. While I figure how to rent myself a rock star tour bus, take a peek at what I’m cooking up for the cooking demonstration. Strawberry Banana Cream Pie. It’s like heaven with fruit.
Can we start at the beginning? There are a handful of steps that need to happen to make this recipe work. I can help you through it. We can totally hold hands.
First, you should know that I made this pie is a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. This choice allowed me to pulse my tart shell crust in a food processor and press it into the tart pan with my fingers. Easy easy!
Chunky sweet dough.
The tart dough needs to be fully baked before it meets the filling. I froze the dough and lined it with buttered foil. That’s the secret to keeping the tart dough from sinking!
It’s like a giant crisp sugar cookie.
Can we talk about custard? We’re heating egg yolks and milk, sugar and cornstarch. It’s science. It’s also magic.
Warm milk introduced to eggs. The cooking begins.
Custard cooks up sloooow… then it’s done before you know it . It’s tricky like that. Whisk the mixture constantly and don’t be afraid to remove the pan from the flame to keep it from cooking too quickly.
Finishing the custard with butter… silky genius.
Cover with plastic and cool in the refrigerator until nice and cold.
This is getting good.
This is getting really good.
Good gravy I love my life!
Lunch. And dinner. And dessert. And tomorrow’s breakfast.
Strawberry Banana Cream Pie
adapted from Dorie Greenspan
recipe makes 1 9-inch pie
for the filling:
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 ripe bananas, sliced
10 fresh strawberries, sliced
for the topping:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
for the tart crust, if not using mini Dufour shells:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoons (9 tablespoons) unsalted cutter, cold or frozen, cut into cubes
1 large egg yolk
to make the tart crust:
Put the flour, powdered sugar and salt in a food processor fit the the blade attachment. Pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the pieces of cold butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. There will be pieces of butter that are the size of oatmeal flakes and butter the size of peas. Beat the egg yolk with a fork and add a little of the egg yolk at a time to the flour mixture. Pulse for 10 seconds at a time. When the egg is in, process in longer pulses until the dough forms clumps and curds. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that may have escaped mixing.
Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and the sides of the pan. Press the crust so that the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter the shiny side of a piece of foil and fit the foil, butter side down, tightly against the frozen crust. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust is puffed, gently press it down with your fingers.
Bake the uncovered crust for 8 to 10 more minutes on the baking sheet. Keep an eye on the crust. It will brown quickly.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before filling.
to make the filling:
Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan.
In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the brown sugar, cornstarch and salt until well blended and thick. Whisking without stopping, drizzle about 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture, warming the eggs so they don’t cook and curdle. Still whisking, slowly add the rest of the hot milk in a steady steam.
Place the pan over medium heat and, whisking constantly (make sure to get the edges of the pan), bring the mixture to a boil. Boil, still whisking for one minute before removing from the pan from the heat. Mixture will be thick and silky. Be warned, once the mixture starts to boil, it will thicken very quickly. Don’t be afraid to remove the pan from the flame to whisk it smooth.
Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let stand for 5 minutes then whisk in the butter, stirring until fully incorporated and the custard is smooth and silky. Transfer custard to a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap so that the plastic touches the surface of the custard and refrigerate until cold throughout. Custard can be refrigerated up to three days.
When ready to assemble the pie, slice bananas and strawberries into thin, round slices.
Whisk the cold custard to loosen. Add a handful of banana slices. Stir.
Arrange a thin layer of banana slices on the bottom of the tart shell. Arrange a thin layer of strawberries atop the bananas. Reserve some strawberries for topping the pie. Top with banana custard. Smooth out a refrigerate while you make the whipped cream.
for the topping:
With a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat heave cream until it just starts to thicken. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Continue to beat until the cream holds stiff peaks. With a rubber spatula, spoon whipped cream onto banana cream pie filling. Top with sliced strawberries.
Serve pie immediately or refrigerate for several hours before serving. This pie is best served the day it is made, but also isn’t too shabby the next day for a breakfast treat.