February 25, 2011


A tree.  A rope.  A ladder.  Ahhhhh to be a kid...

Do you have to be a kid to try??  What do you do first?

Climb up ladder with rope...I can do that.

Hold on for dear life and...


On second thought, I'll just watch.

Have a great weekend!

the Good Food Fairy
Cinnamon, the dog

February 23, 2011

Banana Buttermilk Cream Pie

On  Sunday, I found a blizzard of crumbs at the foot of the cupboard where  I keep all of the baking stuff: ie. chocolate chips, pralines, almonds, cornstarch...you get the idea.  Almost on cue, the Horseman walked through the kitchen and said, "Sorry mom, but those crumbs are good.  What are they for?" As I began to pontificate on the finer uses of Graham Cracker crumbs--say, as a crust in the service of a banana cream pie--a chemical reaction in the brain triggered an inner yearning for banana cream pie.  Of course the desire to educate my son with an object lesson as to the greater culinary purpose of graham cracker crumbs played a key role and soon I was pulling out the ingredients.  This version has a slight twist because we didn't have milk...only buttermilk!  So there's a zing, not to mention maple syrup whipped cream and nutmeg in the crust to complement...

FOR CRUST                                                             
graham cracker crumbs 
margarin or butter                                                                
sugar           cornstarch
salt               buttermilk      
5 egg yolks  2 bananas
vanilla          butter
heavy cream & real maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 F. for crust.

In a mixing bowl measure 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs...

1/4 cup sugar and ...

5 tablespoons butter or margarine or a combo of the two.  I had 4 tablespoons of margarine and 1 of butter at my house, so that's what I used.  My mom only had butter, so that's what I used there.

and 2 teaspoons of nutmeg.  You know, until culinary school, I never knew nutmeg was actually a cut nut that you grated very finely.  Grating from the nut lends a more forte nutmeg spiciness, but whether grated fresh or not, will be just fine.

Now whisk it together till everything's moistened.

To form the crust, pour your mixture into the pie plate and moving out from the center, flatten the crust up along the sides.  I used the back of a measuring cup.

Bake at 350 for 6 to 8 minutes.

Mush two bananas with your mixer.  The riper the banana the more banana flavor.

Choose a good pot for making the pudding.  I have here my medium sized stainless steel Costco generic brand I received when we were newlyweds.  They work great.  So add 2/3 cup sugar... 

1/4 cup corn starch and...

1/4 teaspoon salt and whisk it good.

Whisk in the 2 1/2 cups buttermilk really well and then...

the banana mush until smooth.

Ding!  Time to take out that crust and let cool.  Back to the pudding...

Plop plop plop...whisk in those 5 beautiful egg yolks, turn on the burner to medium heat (med heat as the boys would say) and prepare for a pre-arthritic condition!  Wahoo!

Stir stir stir!  But pace yourself, we've got at least 10 minutes before we hit a bare simmer (tiny bubble here and there) and the pudding thickens.  That is what we are doing here...cooking those egg yolks and getting that pudding thick.

The Horseman comes to the rescue...wanted to save his mother's wrists from that pre-arthritic condition...

And my Knight!  Taking over, not wanting his son to catch fire or his wife to end in decrepit hands...He's feelin' the burn...

Ok, I'm back on stir patrol.  You will feel and see it it begin to thicken and a tiny bubble or two will burst.  Take the pot off the heat and whisk real good.  It may look a little lumpy...don't worry.  Stir for about three minutes.  Then put it back on the heat, stirring still and bring it to a boil.  At the first sign of a big bubble/s bursting. Take it off the heat completely.

Stir in a teaspoon of real vanilla.

And 2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk it, whisk it good.

Pour the pudding into your crust and...

cover with plastic wrap.  Push the plastic wrap right against the pudding and crust so no condensation forms between the wrap and the pudding.  Then refridgerate it for three hours...or if your in a big hurry, put it in the freezer.

Now clean up all your dishes...this will give the pie time to cool for the topping and inspire your mother to say something in wonder like, "Wow, you've started to clean up after yourself."  And you smile and think, but do not say "Mom, remember, that was when I was 12."

Now start the topping, mixing a cup of heavy cream with a 1/4 cup pure maple syrup...sorry, no Aunt Jamima's here.   Whip until peaks form and hold their shape.  Take the pie out of the fridge or freezer, remove the plastic wrap and smooth the whipped cream layer on top with a rubber spatula and put back in the fridge or freezer uncovered for a couple more hours.  Cover with wrap if you're not going to eat it for a while and keep it in the fridge.


The Good Food Fairy

P.S. the Horseman LOVED it!  

Banana Buttermilk Cream Pie with Maple Syrup Whipped Cream


for the crust
1 1/4 c.     graham cracker crumbs
5 T.          butter or margarine, melted
1/4 c.        sugar
2 t.            nutmeg

for the pudding
2              bananas
2/3 c.       sugar
1/4 c.       cornstarch
1/4 t.        salt
2 1/2 c.    buttermilk
5              egg yolks
1   t.         vanilla
2  T.        butter

for the topping
1 c.          heavy cream
1/4 c.       maple syrup


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, add the ingredients for the crust and whisk together until moistened. Pour mixture into a pie baking dish and, working from the center out, flatten the crust against the dish up along the edges. Bake at 350 for 6 to 8 minutes.

3. Prepare the pudding: Mash up two bananas with a mixer.  Set aside.

4. Measure sugar, cornstarch and salt into a medium sauce pot.  Whisk together completely.  Whisk in buttermilk and banana mush.

5. Whisk in five egg yolks. Stir constantly over medium heat until the pudding thickens and first signs of simmer (tiny bubble burst here and there).  

6. Remove from heat, stirring for about three minutes.  Return to heat, stirring constantly until first signs of a boil.  Remove from heat completely.

7.  Stir in vanilla and butter until fully incorporated.  Pour pudding into crust and cover with plastic wrap.  Cool in refrigerator for three hours.

8. Prepare topping: Mix the heavy cream and syrup until thick. 

9 When pie has cooled to luke warm, remove pie from refrigerator, remove plastic wrap and smooth topping over the pie with a rubber spatula.  Return to fridge until firmed and ready to eat.