This week’s Tuesday with Dorie assignment really had me worked up. I would have thrown in the proverbial towel for real had I had any towels in the kitchen. Banana Cream Pie. Who would’ve thought a little banana cream pie would do me in?
I think I was just distracted by the Scary Movie marathon on Comedy Central and was totally disorganized because of that. I actually love having baking experiences that aren’t 100% foolproof though, but I don’t love them at the time I’m experiencing them. It’s just those little checks and balances that make baking so fun and still challenging for me.
Seriously, even taking pictures of this pie made me frustrated. I couldn’t cut a good looking piece for anything.
But it tasted oh so good. It totally made up for the destroyed kitchen I had to clean up afterwards. I had stuff everywhere and a sink full of dishes.
My thoughts and changes:
Crust. I made Dorie’s graham cracker crust instead of the pie crust. It came out perfect and then I accidentally burned it to a crisp after I pulled it out of the oven. Tip: never put a pie plate of perfect graham cracker crust on top of a burner that you aren’t aware is still on. Fortunately I was able to salvage the edges of the crust and use those as a crumbly unstable bottom layer.
Custard. I used 2% milk for the custard. I curdled it, food processed it and everything was ok. But the custard was extremely thick and kind of gloppy. After chilling I added some more milk to it and put it in the food processor again to try to thin it out a bit. That helped.
Whipped Topping. I totally forgot the sour cream in this but it was still good.
Me and the boyfriend both LOVED this pie. I made a full recipe and it was gone by the end of the night. I can’t think of another time recently where that has happened (I think it’s a good thing that I can’t think of another time). This pie was a bit different than what I’ve come to expect from Banana Cream Pie though. Dorie’s version uses cinnamon and nutmeg in the filling which I really liked. I would make it again and eat it in one night again.
Thanks to Amy of Sing for Your Supper who chose Dorie’s Banana Cream Pie for the April 7th, 2009 edition of Tuesdays with Dorie. Stop by her blog to check out the recipe and read what she thought about her choice. Next week, it’s the 15 Minute Magic Chocolate Amaretti Torte chosen by Holly of Phe/MOM/enon that I’ll be testing out.
I’ve had bananas on the brain recently. It started with the Banana Sour Cream Pancakes I recently made. From those I still had some bananas left that were needing to be used so I got to looking around for a new recipe to try out.
Back in November I won The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet in a cookbook giveaway. For the last couple of months I have done a lot of looking through this book but hadn’t made a thing. I figured it was high time I got around to trying something out.
The Bananas Foster Bread Pudding seemed to be the perfect choice. It’s an easy recipe with some toasted challah, a banana custard, and butterscotch-rum sauce. Absolutely delicious! The banana flavor was really pronounced and the sauce was amazing. The only thing I wished was that I had actual banana slices to add on top, that would have made this even better.
If the rest of Cindy Mushet’s cookbook produces results like this one, I’m in trouble! Look at the size of the piece I ate all by myself. I’m not ashamed… well, maybe just a little.
Bananas Foster Bread Pudding
The Art & Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet
1 loaf (1 to 1 1/2 pounds challah, brioche or other rich, dense bread) I used challah
2 ripe bananas
2 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups whole milk
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons dark rum
1 tablespoon banana liqueur (or use additional rum)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extra
Preheat oven to 325. Butter or oil a 9 by 9 by 2-inch square cake pan.
Bread: Cut the crusts away from all sides of the bread. Cut into one inch cubes, spread cubes on baking sheet and toast in the oven for 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Measure 6 cups of bread cubes and place them in the cake pan.
Custard: Peel bananas and break them into chunks. Place in food processor and puree until very smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, egg yolks, and sugar until blended. Add banana puree and vanilla and whisk until blended. Add cream and milk and whisk until blended.
Soak Bread Cubes: Pour custard over the bread cubes in the baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and press down gently so all bread cubes are soaked with custard. Set aside for 30 minutes, pressing down every couple of minutes so the top bread cubes are covered with custard.
Bake: Remove plastic wrap and bake for 45 to 60 minutes until the top is browned and the custard is set. Remove from oven and transfer to a rack to cool.
Make the Sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add brown sugar and cinnamon and raise heat to medium. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Cook for 2 minutes at a boil, whisking constantly until the mixture is thick and smooth. Remove from heat and – away from the flame! – add the rum, banana liqueur, and vanilla. Return to heat and boil for 1 more minute, whisking. Use sauce while warm.
Serve the bread pudding warm, cut into squares and topped with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch-rum sauce. Then promise yourself you’ll go to the gym tomorrow.
A few years ago I was obsessed with Bang Bang Shrimp from Bonefish Grill. I always wanted to go there after work for happy hour so I could feed my addiction. I’d enlist my friend Carey to go with me and i’d usually get there before him so i’d sit at the bar, have a drink, chat with the bartenders… and watch none other than the Barefoot Contessa on the TV. I always thought that was a funny choice to show at a bar, but of course the choice worked for me. One episode in particular caught my eye… the one that featured Banana Sour Cream Pancakes. I was interested because they looked really good and I have a weak spot for all breakfast foods, but I always had a fear of making pancakes at home. This fear was directly related to the fact that I somehow managed to burn every single batch I ever tried to make. Besides, it always seemed easier to just leave the whole thing up to the pros… you know, I.H.O.P. and Denny’s.
Anyway, the pancakes stayed in the back of my mind as something I would like to try one day anyway. Since it was my turn to choose the first 2009 recipe for the Barefoot Bloggers, I wanted to select a recipe that wasn’t going to be a lot of steps or take a lot of time since it was right after the holiday season. I also didn’t want it to cost a lot of money or spur a huge trip to the grocery store. I figured that these pancakes would be the perfect thing since most cooks and bakers would have nearly every ingredient on hand, minus one or two things at the most. Plus, we hadn’t really had a breakfast recipe (not counting two Bonus Challenges) since the very beginning of the group.
The process: One thing that surprised me was how thick the batter was. It was so thick that I thought I did something wrong. Never fear, that was how it was supposed to be. It made ladling them out and shaping them a little tricky since the batter doesn’t spread easily. I confessed my pancake burning fears to my boyfriend and of course he got to witness them in action as the first try went down in flames. He showed me his trick: Instead of cooking one side for 2 or 3 minutes until the bubbles rise to the top, constantly flip them. 30 seconds… flip. 30 seconds… flip. For me, I found that was the way to go and it made things a lot less stressful. After that first scorch, there was not another burnt pancake to throw in the trash.
My Thoughts: The taste of these were really good. They were really thick pancakes with bananas baked in and spooned over the top as an added bonus. Sadly, I couldn’t really identify the sour cream or lemon that much but I won’t doubt it contributed to the overall awesomeness.
I used good old Mrs. Butterworth’s instead of pure maple syrup due to the difference in costs.
I used three “kid” or “juniors” bananas instead of regular size so I could get this cool Donald Duck sticker.
I’m glad I got the chance to finally make these Banana Sour Cream Pancakes, they were a huge success at my house and I will make them again for sure. I’m also glad I got to make them with the Barefoot Bloggers and hope all of you who tried them were pleased. Many thanks to Tara for hosting such a wonderful group for the last seven months. I look forward to seeing what this new year brings for the Barefoot Bloggers and all the good stuff of Ina’s we’ll be making!
Next time on the Barefoot Bloggers, it’s another breakfast recipe – Melissa from Made by Melissa chose Easy Sticky Buns.
Banana Sour Cream Pancakes
Cookbook: 2003′s Barefoot Contessa Family Style
Show: Barefoot Contessa Episode: Back to School
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
2 extra-large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 ripe bananas, diced, plus extra for serving
Pure maple syrup
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan to make 3 or 4 pancakes. Distribute a rounded tablespoon of bananas on each pancake. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute until browned. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter to the pan, and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used. Serve with sliced bananas, butter and maple syrup.
Ashlee of A Year in the Kitchen was up this week to select the Tuesdays with Dorie recipe and she chose The Black and White Banana Loaf on page 232 of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours. I was excited about this one, it’s one of those recipes that always catches my eye when I look through the book.
Here we have a Naked Loaf out of the confines of a baking pan:
And the internal workings:
I used Wild Turkey Bourbon Whiskey instead of Rum. I like the rough stuff. Yeah right, just the smell of it can make me ill, but it’s all I had in the house and I wasn’t about to go running out to the liquor store since I was still in my pj’s. I had some Nestlé Chocolatier Bittersweet (62% cacao) chocolate left so I used that for the chocolate. I used dried lemon zest but was out of lemon juice so I used lime instead. And of course I forgot something… I forgot to add the milk to the batter. I realized it when I was putting all the ingredients away, I looked at the container of milk, then looked at my loaf pan already in the oven and then I said “Shit”. Looking back, I don’t really think it was that necessary because the loaf still came out moist. Though, if I made this again I wouldn’t leave the milk out on purpose.
When it came to the marbling, I obeyed Dorie and stayed conservative with my zig zagging. Although I admit i did want to do more. I kept it to one pass through with about 6 or 7 knife turns. Upon cutting, some parts of the loaf didn’t really show any marbling, the colors just looked stacked where I had dropped the different color batters. I only made half a recipe and baked in a small loaf pan for about one hour and five or ten minutes. I did use a foil tent but only towards the end of baking, I think adding it at the 30 minute mark would have been a better idea.
This was one of my favorite recipes to date. The flavor combinations between the white and black parts along with the banana was interesting to me. Staying true to my new “diet” though, I only had one piece and then gave the rest away to my neighbors (who all said they enjoyed it too). **Total side note: Yes, Chr – I WILL stop by your house one of these days with some of the stuff I bake. I promise you!
Be sure to stop by A Year in the Kitchen to check out the recipe and see how Ashlee’s Black and White Banana Loaf turned out. Then move right along to the Tuesdays with Dorie website to see over 200 more unique marbling patterns.
For next week, Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity has picked Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream on page 434 for all of us to test out. I already have this one completed and can’t wait to post about it. See you next Tuesday!
My boyfriend came downstairs this morning, confused by the lack of baking going on. Usually, Sunday mornings are my time to play around and try out new things. Instead, this morning, I was watching the movie P.S. I Love You and enjoying a cup of coffee. “What, no breakfast?!?” he said.
That’s the problem with having a routine, the second you step outside of it, people start asking too many questions.
Anyway, I’ve always wanted to try out these Banana Crumb Muffins on Allrecipes. They are the most popular, highest rated recipe on the site. I looked at the three overripe bananas sitting on the counter and thought that it would be a perfect time to try it out. They came together really easily. As long as you already had bananas, the rest of the ingredients are things you’d have on hand. The taste was excellent, the crumb topping was really good. I would make these again for sure.
Check out the recipe for Banana Crumb Muffins here!