Thursday, May 03, 2007

Bananas


I wonder how many other professions have to take a class about that profession's history...Is it just a funny nursing thing? I already did history and women's studies in my first go-round through school twenty years back. I thought I was done with it, but now I'm stuck with in this class with a lazy instructor who just spews random viewpoint for two hours (Oh, it's History and Trends in Nursing, and, well, trends... Trends could be anything, right? But nowadays most classes are taken up with students doing presentations about trends in nursing and reading in monotone from Powerpoint slides in a cavernous and bowl-shaped room that is decorated like a 70's-era rumpus room (brick walls w/ odd carpet-y panels hanging on 'em in regular intervals). I'm not actually going to stab my eye out w/ a fork, but it's almost as bad as the first quarter's theory class in terms of This Is A Waste Of My Time. And, don't get me wrong, I love history. And, um, I'm all for empowering future nurses with the story of nurses, but this class is so random, unfocused, dreary, and insulting to anyone who loves history. I'm worried less history-knowing students will think history is dreary, unfocused...flake-y. We had our midterm in the class today and we were allowed to have two pages (both sides) covered in notes to help us. Mine looked like an insane person's manifesto: no paragraphs, tiny writing. At some point I got tired and taped some random scraps of paper to one side. I couldn't even read the things it was such a mess.

OK. Here it is. Make this pie now. It is so fabulous! I don't even like pie and am only just ok with bananas (they have their place, I'll give 'em that), but this is REALLY GOOD. If you make this for someone you love they will know, upon first bite, that you, indeed, do love them. It's from the New York Times magazine of a couple of months back. I stole it almost word for word.

AMAZING Banana Cream Pie

For the crust:

1 ¼ cup graham-cracker crumbs, about 10 or 11 whole crackers

1 tsp sugar

4 Tbs butter, melted

For the interior:

1 2/3 cups milk

¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar

½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped out and reserved

3 Tbsp cornstarch

1 egg

2 egg yolks

1 ½ Tbsp butter

For topping:

1 ½ cups heavy cream

¼ cup crème fraîche

3 ½ medium bananas, sliced into 3/8-inch-thick rounds, ripe but not too ripe

1. Crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, combine the crumbs and sugar. Add the butter and mix, first with a fork, then with your fingers, until the crumbs are moistened. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan, using a flat-bottomed cup to press the crumbs evenly. The edges of the shell will be crumbly. Bake until lightly browned, 9 or 10 minutes. Cool completely.

2. Prepare the interior: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, 1/4 cup of the sugar and the vanilla bean and seeds and bring to a simmer. Over a small bowl, sift the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar with the cornstarch. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and yolks.

3. When the milk comes to a simmer, discard the vanilla bean. Add the cornstarch mixture to the eggs and whisk until well combined.

While whisking the egg mixture, slowly pour in about 1/4 of the milk. Transfer this mixture into the saucepan, set over low heat and simmer, whisking constantly, until it reaches the consistency of thick pudding. (Be careful not to curdle the eggs.) Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until incorporated. Pour into a shallow bowl, place plastic wrap directly on the surface and chill.

4. To assemble: Using an electric mixer or a whisk, whip the heavy cream and crème fraîche into peaks. Transfer the interior pudding to a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Fold in 1/2 cup of the whipped cream. Line the bottom of the cooled pie shell with a layer of bananas. Fold the remaining bananas into the interior, then spoon it evenly into the shell. Mound the remaining whipped cream on top, swirling it decoratively. Chill and serve within 24 hours. Serves 8.

2 comments:

Kitt said...

Oooh, I adore banana cream pie! Will definitely make this, thanks!

And please keep the fork away from your eyes. You need them to blog and stuff.

marleygee said...

True. I guess I also need the eyes to read the markings on the measuring cup.