The Pastry Queen brings us her teen daughter’s favorite pie recipe, and she’s a doozie (the pie, not the teenage daughter – though they can be doozies too). I will pretty much live out all but three of my fantasies on this one. (Will I share the other three? No, but hint: it involves this pie and a bathtub.)
Franny’s Fave Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie with Hot Fudge Sauce
Yield: 8 servings
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup (11 tablespoons) chilled unsalted butter
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water
1/4 cup banana liqueur, such as crème de banane
1 envelope plus 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 vanilla bean
23/4 cups milk
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 to 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 ripe bananas
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
Hot Fudge Sauce
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 tablespoons Jack Daniel’s whiskey, (optional)
Whipped Cream Topping
2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the flour, salt, and sugar on low speed for about 30 seconds. Cut the chilled butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Add the butter to the flour mixture and combine on slow speed for 1 to 1H minutes, until the mixture looks crumbly, with bits of dough the size of dried currants. Add 4 tablespoons ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing on low speed for 10 seconds after each addition. After the last addition, the dough should begin to clump together in a ball. If not, continue mixing about 10 more seconds. (If it still looks too dry, add an additional tablespoon of ice water.) Gently mold the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Unwrap the dough and transfer to a lightly floured flat surface. Roll it into a 1/8-inch-thick circle large enough to cover the bottom and sides of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. (To keep the dough from sticking, gently pick up the dough periodically as you roll it out and rotate it in place, adding more flour underneath if necessary.) Wrap the dough lightly over the rolling pin and set it in the ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Press it into place and crimp the outside edges with your fingers or a fork. Use a fork to prick the bottom of the unbaked crust. Cover the bottom and sides of the crust with a sheet of parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. (I use the cheapest red beans I can find.)
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the parchment And weights. If the crust is not golden brown, return it to the oven for 1 to 3minutes. Cool on a rack until the custard filling is ready.
To make the filling: Pour the banana liqueur into a small metal bowl, sprinkle the gelatin on top, and let it soften for 5 minutes. Set the bowl over a small saucepan with2 inches of simmering water and warm the gelatin until it has completely dissolved and looks clear. Cut the vanilla bean pod in half lengthwise. Combine the milk and vanilla bean pod in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover the saucepan, and let the vanilla steep in the milk while preparing the yolk mixture.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Add the sugar gradually, whisking constantly until the mixture lightens in color to a lemony hue, about 15 minutes total. Whisk in the cornstarch. Pour the milk through a strainer into a glass measuring cup or pitcher with a spout. Gradually pour the milk into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture into a clean saucepan set over medium heat and whisk constantly until it begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon. Reduce the heat and whisk for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatin, mixture, being sure to incorporate it thoroughly. Let the filling cool completely, about 30 minutes.
In the meantime, melt the chocolate in a small bowl in a microwave on medium-high. Check every 30 seconds to ensure the chocolate does not burn. Using a pastry brush, evenly coat the bottom and sides of the crust with bittersweet chocolate. Refrigerate the pie crust while the chocolate hardens and sets, 10 to 15minutes.
Slice the bananas diagonally and brush Them with lemon-lime soda to prevent discoloration (see the Tip on page 198 for more information). Spread the peanut butter evenly over the bottom of the baked crust. Layer on half the banana slices, all of the filling, and the remaining banana slices.
Cover the pie with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic comes in direct contact with any custard not covered by bananas to totally seal it and prevent a skin from developing on the surface. Refrigerate the pie overnight before serving.
To make the fudge sauce: Heat the cream and brown sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-heat. When the sugar is dissolved, add the butter, chocolate chips, and bittersweet chocolate and stir over medium-low heat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the salt. Remove the fudge sauce from the heat and stir in the Jack Daniel’s. Keep warm until ready to slice and serve the pie, or cover and store in the refrigerator up to 1 month. The sauce can be reheated in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop over low heat as often as necessary.
To make the topping: Using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream In a medium bowl on high speed until thick, With medium-soft peaks forming when you lift the mixer out of the bowl (this takes 11/2 minutes with a handheld mixer, and even less time with a standard mixer). Be careful not to over whip the cream, or it will separate. Whip in the powdered sugar.
Reprinted with permission from The Pastry Queen: Royally Good Recipes from the Texas Hill Country’s Rather Sweet Bakery & Café by Rebecca Rather with Alison Oresman, copyright © 2004. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group. Photo Credit: Laurie Smith.
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