Here we go. After two years of obsessively reading cookbooks and trying recipes I am starting a food blog. I am not sure where this will lead but I know now is the time to start. I am home full time with my two sweet, smart and funny kids, Charlotte 5 and Graham 2. I have a supportive and loving husband who many call Bubba. We have a very furry, half human dog named Alice. Friends and family are close by and we live in a great town just outside of Boston, the city where we first met and fell in love 11 years ago. We have a good life but I somehow feel lost in the day to day. I have disappeared between diaper changes and gymnastics drop offs. I think this blog just may be my way back.
I am starting with a Vanilla Bean Banana Cream Pie with a Graham Cracker crust because it was his favorite. I am referring to Papa, my grandfather, who we lost two years ago. He was a like a father to me. His passing broke my heart and it is just now that my heart feels less raw. His birthday was two weeks ago. This pie is for him.
For the Vanilla Bean Pudding
1 large whole egg, lightly beaten, plus 4 large egg yolks
6 to 8 medium-ripe bananas
3 cups whole milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
For the Graham Cracker Crust
12 full-size graham crackers
6 tablespoons butter, melted
For the Crust
Pre-heat the oven to 375
Place the graham crackers and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to break the crackers up and then process for 1-2 minutes until the crackers are the same consistency as the sugar.
Add the melted butter and pulse to combine so the crackers look just damp.
Remove the mixture from the food processor and transfer the crumbs into a 9 inch pie pan. Press the the crumbs into a crust evenly along the bottom and up the side.
Bake the crust for about 10 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and let cool.
For the Pudding
In a bowl, lightly whisk egg yolks; set aside. In a saucepan, whisk together milk, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Bring to a simmer (do not boil), and cook, whisking constantly, 3 to 4 minutes.
Whisk a quarter of hot-milk mixture into egg yolks; whisk in remaining milk mixture. Strain into a clean saucepan (I didn’t do this step and it was fine), and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until custard is thick and bubbles appear in center, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface to prevent a skin from forming. Place in refrigerator until chilled, 30 to 35 minutes. (The filling can be kept in refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, up to 1 day.)
Cut 3 or 4 bananas into 1/4-inch slices, on the bias. Start at the edge of the piecrust, arrange the slices in slightly overlapping rows. Cover with custard, using an offset spatula to smooth it into an even layer. I don’t love whip cream so I didn’t add it but if you love it throw some on!
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine cream and confectioners’ sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Using a small offset spatula, spread the whipped cream on top of the custard.
Refrigerate pie, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.