Several weeks ago I was looking through the summer catalog of one of my favorite cooking schools here in Los Angeles, daydreaming about learning to make my own Breakfast Rustic Breads when I suddenly saw the class I had been dreaming about since I was 10 years old.
Pie and camp. Together? This was everything.
Since running away to Pie Camp isn’t really feasible for me, I decided to make my own home version, a Pie-cation if you will, where I can learn how to make my own summer pies with a little help from friends, cookbooks and sheer will.
My first session of Pie Camp happened this past weekend which happened to coincide with Father’s Day, the first day of summer and LA’s first sweltering heatwave of the season.
This was how I decided to go with a No-Bake Banana Cream Pie for my first class, because turning on an oven when it’s 109 degrees outside, would not have gone over well with the family.
Here’s the thing about a cream and/or custard pies, I often forget how much I like them, mainly because I am completely smitten by berry beauties and stone fruit pies that beguile from the pastry case. But after checking out a few different recipes and talking to a few baker friends, I went with a basic recipe I found at Taste of Home (TOH) thanks to my friend and editor of TOH Emily Betz Tyra.
She had recommended trying the Chocolate Banana Cream Pie which was featured on the cover of their most recent magazine, which looks beautiful, right?
I opted for a basic and traditional Banana Cream recipe for my first class, so I could start off strong without too many baking mistakes. Making the cream filling was the most involved part, but it came out wonderfully light and sweet. Once things started to look and feel like a real pie was being made, I felt more comfortable and confident and I threw in some sliced bananas into the sauce and then added shredded coconut for texture.
It went in the refrigerator overnight and voila! We had pie for breakfast, lunch and then dinner, because that’s the great thing about homemade pie, you can have more than one slice.
Confession: I do have to admit, I did go with a pre-packaged Graham Cracker Crust mainly because turning on the oven during a heatwave seemed cruel to the rest of my family. It came out wonderful, but I am sure a homemade crust would have crushed it.
Check out my summer project here:
Classic Banana Cream Pie
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups 2% milk
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked
- 2 large firm bananas
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
- 1. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and milk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into eggs; return all to pan. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes longer.
- 2. Remove from heat. Gently stir in butter and vanilla. Press plastic wrap onto surface of custard; refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes.
- 3. Spread half of the custard into pastry shell. Slice bananas; arrange over filling. Pour remaining custard over bananas. Spread with whipped cream. Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. Yield: 8 servings.
1 serving (1 slice) equals 433 calories, 22 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 103 mg cholesterol, 358 mg sodium, 55 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein.