Saturday, February 26, 2011

peanut butter banana cream pie.


First of all, please excuse the boring shots. There are only so many angles you can take a peanut butter banana cream pie from when it's unmoldable(!) 


You see, I scaled down the recipe and baked it in mini pie pans, without considering how in the world is the graham crust going to taken out of the pan without crumbling into a million bits. So that's why its still in the pan. Funny thing is, when I was halfway devouring through a mini pie all by myself (can you see why I love miniatures?) I realized that the crust at the bottom was packed tightly enough to be able to be released. So I did, and then I had this.

No matter, it was still delicious anyway. I loved how vanilla-y that pudding was. There was a half teaspoon  in every portion of pudding. Awesome. And that peanut butter cream cheese topping? The peanut butter wasn't shy, if you know what I mean. Excellent for people like myself who eat that thing straight from the jar.

If you're wondering, those colourful buttons on the top are Reese's peanut butter pieces. A note of caution: the colours run! After coming into contact with the moisture from the peanut butter topping, the shells started to lose their colours which will in turn spread on the topping. Not a pretty sight. So if you do decide to top your pie with them, do it a la minute. Otherwise, use salted peanuts. Yum!

You know how bananas will turn black after slicing? I found a solution for that without the use of lemon or orange juice. Fill the crust with half your pudding, arrange the sliced bananas on top, then pour on the remaining half. I got this tip from America's Test Kitchen and it totally works!

Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie
adapted from Baked Explorations


For the crust:
6 ounces vanilla wafer cookies *I used digestives
•6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
•2 tablespoons sugar
For the vanilla pudding filling:
•1/3 cup sugar
•1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
•1/8 teaspoon salt
•1 cup heavy whipping cream
•1/2 cup whole milk
•2 large egg yolks
•1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
•1 tablespoon unsalted butter
•4 firm but ripe bananas, peeled, divided
•3 tablespoons orange juice, divided *Refer to my tip!

For the peanut butter layer:
•3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
•1/2 cup powdered sugar
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1/3 cup creamy peanut butter 
•2/3 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

Preparation

•Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients in processor; blend until mixture resembles moist crumbs, about 1 minute. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish and press mixture onto bottom and up sides (not rim) of dish. Bake crust until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven; press crust with back of spoon if puffed. Cool crust completely.
•Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt in heavy medium saucepan until no lumps remain. Gradually whisk in cream, then milk. Add yolks and scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; whisk to blend. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until pudding thickens and boils, about 5 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Spread warm pudding in cooled crust. Chill until filling is cool, about 1 hour.

•Thinly slice 3 bananas on diagonal. Combine banana slices and 2 tablespoons orange juice in medium bowl; toss to coat. Transfer banana slices to paper towels and pat dry. Arrange enough banana slices in single layer over vanilla custard filling to cover completely.
peanut butter layer.

•Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Beat in vanilla, then peanut butter. Beat cream in another medium bowl until firm peaks form. Fold large spoonful of whipped cream into peanut mixture to loosen, then fold in remaining cream in 2 additions. Spread peanut butter layer evenly over bananas. Chill at least 3 hours. Can be made 8 hours ahead. Keep chilled.

•Thinly slice remaining banana on diagonal. Toss with remaining 1 tablespoon orange juice (to prevent fruit from browning), then pat dry with paper towels. Arrange banana slices around top edge of pie.


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